Tips to Combat the Adverse Effects of Bruxism

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Bruxism or most commonly known as teeth grinding and jaw clenching can be a potentially serious condition if left untreated. Some of the issues that a patient may experience include enamel damage, malocclusion, fractured teeth, tooth loss, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Fortunately, there are ways for patients to stop the said disorder from worsening. At Legacy Dental, we prepared some of the necessary pieces of information for bruxism sufferers to take action before their condition takes a turn for the worse. Continue reading below!


Know the Exact Cause of Bruxism

One way for people to find relief from the effects of teeth grinding and jaw clenching is knowing what causes it. Here are some instances:

  • Conditions like general stress, anxiety, or even depression can cause a person to grind their teeth and tighten their jaw. Stress can also lead to the unconscious jaw clenching during the day.
  • People who experience sleep apnea, and those who smoke are at high risk of developing bruxism.
  • Drinking excessive alcoholic and caffeinated beverages increase the risk of bruxism episodes during sleep.
  • Patients with orthodontic issues and those with missing teeth may experience a dull headache and a sore jaw after waking up in the morning because of bruxism.

The most effective way to combat bruxism is by seeing the dentist. Aside from diagnosing the condition, they can also provide the appropriate treatments to reverse the effects of the disorder. At our practice, we utilize NTI (nociceptive trigeminal inhibition) Night Guard splint. It is approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) for the treatment of symptoms associated with teeth grinding.

Ways to Avoid the Occurrence of Bruxism

Stop chewing gum

Although a sugar-free gum is good in keeping the mouth clean by promoting saliva production, people with bruxism should avoid it. Since chewing is performed repeatedly, the jaw muscles become more accustomed to the movement. As a result, the chance of bruxism to occur at night increases. Sticking to mints would be better.

Normalize jaw joints and muscles

As much as possible, patients should perform practices with their jaw like stretching it throughout the day, as well as massaging their shoulders, neck, and jaw in releasing tension. Seeing a physical therapist is recommended as well for patients to undergo exercises that are best suited for their condition.

Utilize moist heat

Right before bedtime, patients can use a warm washcloth and place it against their cheeks. Doing so helps in relaxing the jaw muscles, especially if the heat is positioned against the earlobes.

Limit is key

As much as possible, patients should cut down the intake of substances with alcohol and caffeine to lessen or entirely avoid the possibility of bruxism episodes.

As soon as a disorder is spotted, it is best for patients to take immediate actions since delaying treatments can only make matters worse. When it comes to Teeth Grinding in Albuquerque, NM, call or visit us at Legacy Dental to undergo effective treatments!