Bruxism Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment in Madison
Protect Your Teeth From Uncontrolled Grinding
Bruxism is a condition involving involuntary teeth grinding (bruxing) and jaw clenching. Persistent bruxism will wear down teeth and can cause them to crack, chip, and break over time. Grinding can cause gum recession and jaw disorders like TMJ. Total Care Dental offers superior Madison dental health care services and our comprehensive dentists are specialists for spotting the early warning signs of bruxism. Once diagnosed, bruxism treatment can begin.
During bruxing, the facial muscles around the jaw and sides of skull work very hard. This overuse can cause tenderness, muscle spasms and painful headaches. Initial signs of bruxism can be hard to notice, leading to patients who are unaware of their condition. Regular dental visits will allow our dentists to keep track of signs of grinding and make an accurate diagnosis. Earlier treatment leads to better recovery and healthier teeth.
Night Bruxism: Grinding Your Teeth while Sleeping
Most people are unaware they grind their teeth because most clenching and grinding occurs during sleep, known as sleep bruxism or nocturnal teeth grinding. You might wake up with a sore jaw and have no idea of the cause. It is important to regularly visit our Madison dentists so we can spot changes in your teeth caused by sleep bruxism.
Bruxism is considered a sleep disorder since the symptoms can lead to restless nights and insomnia. Treatment will protect your teeth and improve your ability to sleep!
How Do I Know if I Have Bruxism?
Frequent headaches, unexplained tenderness in your jaw or your teeth becoming shorter are good indicators you may be grinding your teeth at night. Some people do not realize they clench their teeth at night until someone tells them. If you notice any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with our dentists right away.
- Involuntary or severe teeth grinding/clenching
- Teeth become worn, chipped, or loose
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Unexplained headaches, jaw pain, facial soreness or earaches
- Tongue indentations
Children who develop bruxism usually experience nocturnal bruxism rather than awake bruxism. Our pediatric dentistry services will let us keep tabs on their teeth to determine if they are grinding while they sleep.
The causes of bruxism are difficult to determine, but there are many suspected physical and psychological causes. Having family members with bruxism may increase your chances of developing this condition. Additional causes may include the following:
- Tension due to anxiety, stress, anger, or frustration
- Malocclusion (misaligned upper and lower teeth)
- Sleep apnea or other sleep disorders
- Response to a painful earache or teething in children
- Acid reflux
- A side effect of some psychiatric medications
Many dentists fail to diagnose and treat bruxism because the process of grinding down teeth takes place over many years. At Total Care Dental, we use the latest dental technology like X-rays and 3D imaging for accurate diagnosis. These digital images allow our dentists to track the changes in your teeth caused by grinding.
Treatments and Possible Cures for Bruxism
The key to preventing major problems is treatment when the first signs occur. Let our Madison family dentists know if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. Before your dental appointment, you may want to prepare by listing the details of your symptoms and possible causes, as well as gathering any relevant medical records.
Some questions about bruxism you may want to ask your Madison dental expert include:
- What kinds of tests do you recommend?
- Is my bruxism temporary or long-term?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- How should I manage my bruxism with my other health conditions?
- Should I follow any restrictions?
- Is there a brochure or other informational material I can have?
The treatment you receive will depend on the cause and type of bruxism you have. If you grind your teeth due to misaligned teeth, Invisalign clear braces may correct this problem. If you have sleep bruxism, you may need a night mouth guard to stop grinding.
Read our bruxism FAQ to learn more about this condition.
Other Health Issues Related to Bruxism
While our treatment options will protect your teeth and jaw, bruxism can be a side effect of other health conditions. After receiving a bruxism diagnosis, check with your primary care physician to see if you have any related disorders. Sleep apnea can lead to night bruxism while ADHD can cause awake bruxism. Diagnosing these conditions can alleviate your bruxism.
Jaw clenching can cause pain and lead to headaches. Teeth grinding can cause damage to dental crowns and veneers. Getting treated early will prevent many of these issues. If your teeth are damaged from grinding, our reconstructive dentistry will repair the damage.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies for Teeth Grinding
In addition to treatment from your dentist, here are some self-care tips for preventing and coping with bruxism:
- Reduce stress: listen to music, take a warm bath and exercise regularly to reduce risk of grinding and clenching.
- Avoid stimulating substances in the evening, like coffee, caffeinated tea, alcohol, and smoking tobacco.
- Do not vape with nicotine products as this can stimulate the muscles which cause bruxism.
- Practice good sleeping habits: get a good night’s sleep and seek out treatment for disorders getting in the way of sleep. Turn off electronic devices including phones, computers and television one hour before bed. Read or listen to an audiobook to drift off.
- Talk to your sleep partner (if you have one) to see if they notice anything you can report to your doctor.
- Schedule regular exams at TCD to monitor your bruxism.
If diagnosed at an early stage, our dentists will recommend a fitted occlusal guard for you to wear at night to relax the jaw muscles and prevent teeth from wearing down. High performance mouth guards will help reduce grinding during the day.
Once significant wear occurs from grinding, our dedicated dentists may recommend building your teeth back to the original size to get proper functions. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of bruxism, call our Madison family dentist today to make an appointment.
Affordable Bruxism Treatment in Madison
Total Care Dental accepts most dental insurance providers and has many payment plan options. We want all of our patients to be able to afford the care they need. We even accept cash as payment! Learn more about our dental financing today or call our offices for more information on low cost bruxism treatment.