Bruxism is the clenching or grinding of the teeth that often occurs while a person is sleeping. They symptoms include:

  • A sore, tired jaw
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Earaches or pain in your jaw joint

The jaw joint
The jaw joint
A nightguard
A nightguard

Bruxism can cause other dental problems, as the force on your teeth when you clench or grind is many times greater than during normal chewing. These forces can cause:

  • Worn-down teeth
  • Teeth that are chipped at the gum-line
  • Loose teeth
  • Damage to the bone around your teeth
  • Damage to your jaw joint

Treating Bruxism

No matter what is causing your bruxism, it’s important to treat it early to prevent irreversible damage and restore harmony to your mouth.

Though all of the causes of bruxism are not known, stress is often a factor. If this is the case, a variety of stress reduction techniques may be recommended. We may also recommend medication to temporarily reduce stress and relieve pain.

Sometimes, spaces between the teeth, worn teeth, or teeth that are out of alignment may cause bruxism. Crowns, bridges, or other dental restorations can restore your bite and eliminate grinding and clenching.

A common and effective treatment for stopping the damage caused by bruxism is the use of a nightguard. A nightguard is a plastic device that fits over your top or bottom teeth to protect them from the damage caused by grinding. A custom nightguard, made from impressions of your teeth, usually offers the best protection.

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