Bruxism is an involuntary action that usually happens during sleep and is characterized by grinding the teeth or clenching the jaw. It’s one of the most common sleep disorders and most people will experience it at some point in their life. The Grande Prairie-based team at Higson Dental Group will be happy to walk you through the options to fix this common issue.
Why Does it Happen While I Sleep?
In some cases, bruxing can happen in the day but it’s more common during sleeping hours. The reason is that while the conscious brain mostly regulates chewing, the action is actually a neuromuscular activity controlled by a subconscious process. When you’re asleep the brain is at rest and subconscious processes may become more active and increase the chances of bruxism.
When Do I Seek Treatment for Bruxism?
If you are experiencing any of the associated symptoms with bruxism, you should call our team at Higson Dental Group for an assessment. Symptoms of bruxism include earaches, headaches, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and chronic stress, and can lead to the following dental issues.
Gum Recession and Tooth Loss: Chronic grinding of teeth damages gum tissue and leads to deep pockets and spacing where bacteria can colonize and cause decay and tooth loss.
Facial Pain: Grinding will wear down and blunt teeth. As well, the constant motion often leads to muscle pain in the myofascial region and painful headaches
Occlusal Trauma: Bruxism puts extra pressure on chewing (occlusal) surfaces of the teeth, which can lead to cracking and if left untreated may need restorative treatment.
Arthritis: TMJ (temporomandibular) joints that open and close your mouth, are often compromised with severe bruxism. This can be painful, and in many cases can result in arthritis or discomfort in everyday movement like talking, yawning and chewing.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Since bruxism is a subconscious process, there is no cure. But we can help alleviate the negative impact it has on your teeth and mouth. We offer devices and services to help treat bruxism. Book a consultation with the experts at Higson Dental Group to find out more.
Mouthguard: You can try to minimize the abrasive grinding action on teeth by wearing an acrylic mouthguard while you sleep. These can be custom made from impressions of your teeth, but you need to commit to wearing it over a long term to really make an impact and help prevent tooth damage.
NTI-tss Device: The nociceptive trigeminal inhibition tension suppression system is a fitted device that attaches on to your front teeth and helps prevent grinding the back molars by limiting the contraction of the temporalis muscle in the jaw.
If bruxism has caused aesthetic issues with your teeth, there are a number of restorative treatments we can perform to help fix the look and feel of your teeth and mouth. Some common procedures include crowns, gum grafts and crown lengthening. Higson Dental Group will be happy to walk you through your treatment options, and are always accepting new clients.