Do you ever wake up from a night’s sleep with sore teeth and jaws? You could be grinding your teeth. Grinding your teeth is known as bruxism. Stress, anxiety, smoking, heavy alcohol, caffeine, depression and sleep disorders are all possible causes of teeth grinding! If you want to learn how to quit this bad habit, please continue reading!

Treatment for Teeth Grinding

How can you stop clenching or grinding your teeth? It depends on the cause. Is it due to a sleep disorder, lifestyle factors or stress and anxiety? It is important to have your dentist evaluate you with a comprehensive exam and develop a treatment plan that is specialized for you.

The best way to protect your teeth and prevent tooth wear and fracture is to wear an occlusal appliance. These appliances have different names, including occlusal splints, occlusal bite guards, night guards, bite plates and bruxism appliances. These are custom made, specially fitted plastic mouth pieces that fit over your top or bottom teeth. Wearing one of these appliances will reduce jaw muscle pain and protect both your teeth and jaw! The appliances are usually worn at bedtime and are considered the treatment of choice.

Other Treatment Options

Other appliances are also used. These are called mandibular advancement devices. These are also custom made, specially fitted appliances and usually fit over your top and bottom teeth. Mandibular advancement devices typically bring your bottom jaw (mandible) forward. These devices are used when a sleep disorder is a probable cause of grinding. The device is used to help manage snoring and sleep apnea. When grinding your teeth is caused by sleep apnea, this is the preferred treatment.

If anxiety or stress is believed to be the cause of your grinding, then behavioral management is a must. Relaxation techniques, meditation and psychoanalysis can help manage the stress and anxiety. Hypnosis has also been found to help relieve grinding of your teeth. A study reported by the Bruxism Association found hypnosis to have positive long-term effects, so this treatment has some promise. Sometimes a combination of behavior modification and occlusal appliances is required.

Think you need an evaluation to stop your grinding habit? We have you covered! Just call 480-982-7289 to schedule an appointment today!

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