Bruxism Treatment Options
Your dentist can examine your oral health and determine the optimal treatment plan for you. For some patients, reducing their stress levels can provide sufficient relief from grinding and clenching. However, in many cases, treatment is required.
Oral Appliance Therapy
There are a few ways to protect your teeth from the forces of grinding and clenching. Your dentist may recommend a custom night guard to wear while you sleep. This treatment is especially helpful if your bruxism symptoms mainly occur at night. In addition, splinting can redistribute the force of your bite by connecting multiple teeth together. Your dentist can place a temporary or permanent splint depending on your needs.
Orthodontics or Bite Adjustments
When your teeth do not fit together properly, you unconsciously adjust your bite throughout the day in an attempt to find a comfortable position. This process can cause you to grind or clench. If your symptoms are due to misalignment, orthodontic treatment or another form of bite adjustment can help reduce or eliminate bruxism.
If your bruxism does not respond to other treatments, your dentist may recommend you take a muscle relaxant before bed. Additionally, if your clenching or grinding is related to anxiety, your doctor may prescribe a medication to relieve stress. Bruxism is also a side effect of certain medications. Switching to a different prescription may alleviate your issues.
There is some evidence to suggest that injection of BOTOX, a form of botulinum toxin, can help patients with severe bruxism that does not respond to other treatments. Since BOTOX limits muscle movement, it may be able to help reduce your symptoms. BOTOX injections are a temporary solution for bruxism and will require ongoing treatment.
Treating Underlying Conditions
Bruxism caused by another medical condition, such as sleep apnea or GERD, may resolve by simply treating the underlying condition. Be sure to provide your dentist with your full medical history so they can identify possible causes of your clenching or grinding.