Need to stop grinding your teeth?
Learn the three most common cures!
Now I would like to make sure you are familiar with some of the most common and effective treatments for teeth grinding. I’m also going to tell you about a few treatments you may encounter which are usually not effective, and have not been proven to produce significant results. When it comes to preventing patients from grinding their teeth, most dentists will tell you that the treatment should match the root cause of the problem. We have already reviewed the most common causes of grinding, so let’s go over the treatments.
Stress and Tension
Often the most common cause of grinding, stress is usually remedied with some sort of stress management treatment. Your dentist may recommend some basic muscle relaxation techniques, or might urge you to take up stress management activities such as meditation or exercise. In more serious cases, you may be referred to a stress management counselor who can help you reduce your daily tension, and hopefully decrease or stop your grinding behavior.
Mouth Guards and Splints
Probably the most popular treatment for grinding and clenching is a simple mouth guard, which can be worn at night to prevent the teeth from making contact and causing damage to each other. There are a variety of brands available over the counter; however custom mouth guards created by your dentist are usually a more effective solution. Custom mouth guards are created specifically for you and will not slip out of place during the night.
Mouth guards cannot stop the action of grinding but they will prevent adverse effects and damage. Mouth guards also do not address the problem of daytime clenching and grinding. It might be wise to use both a mouth guard and some sort of stress management therapy to combat both nighttime and daytime grinding.
If the cause of the grinding is related to the shape or alignment of your teeth, then you may want to consider corrective procedures such as orthodontics, crowns, bridges or implants. As mentioned in the previous email, if your teeth are misaligned, or some are missing, it could be causing you to slide your teeth in order to find a more comfortable position. Creating a healthy, correctly-aligned smile will reduce discomfort and grinding.
There has been a lot of research lately into bio-feedback devices for treating bruxism. An example would be a headband worn at night which sounds an alarm when it senses tension in the muscles used for clenching. Another is a device placed between the teeth during sleep, which releases a foul taste when the teeth touch. The purpose of these devices is to train your body not to grind or clench by giving negative feedback when those actions are performed. The effectiveness of these kinds of devices varies from individual to individual, and most have not been proven to produce significant results. If a dentist’s examination and diagnosis does reveal that you would be a good candidate for these treatments then it is something to look in to.
Determining the cause of your grinding and clenching will be the most important step in finding a cure. The good news is that once you recognize the signs of bruxism and talk to your dentist, he or she will be able to recommend an effective treatment. You can rely on the expertise of your dental professional.
If you’re interested in learning more about bruxism, or you’d just like to discuss some concerns about your clenching or grinding problems, click here to schedule a free consultation.
Next week we will weigh the costs and benefits of the various grinding treatments, keeping in mind how beneficial each treatment would be for you. Keep an eye out for that newsletter because no matter how much a dentist says you need a treatment, you will only go through with it if it seems worth it to you.
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