Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common condition among children and young people, although people of any age can be affected. At Missoula Dental, a team of highly skilled dentists offer top quality diagnostic and treatment services for bruxism, helping residents of Missoula, Montana, find lasting relief. Book your visit online or over the phone today to learn more.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition characterized by involuntary grinding and clenching of the teeth. These behaviors usually occur during sleep, leaving many people unaware that they have the condition.
People who experience nighttime teeth grinding can have very different experiences. Some people only clench or grind their teeth a few times a night, while others have up to 100 episodes.
Frequency can also vary, with some people grinding almost every night and others only occasionally experiencing bruxism. Most bruxism occurs in the early stages of the sleep cycle, with only a small amount occurring during REM sleep.
What are some symptoms of bruxism?
Because most teeth clenching and grinding occurs during sleep, spotting the symptoms of bruxism is not always easy. Some things to keep an eye out for include:
Damage to the tissue inside your cheeks
Jaw, face, or neck pain
Teeth that appear worn down or flattened
Chipped or loose teeth
In many cases, people learn they have bruxism after their sleep partner notices nighttime grinding habits.
What can be done to treat bruxism?
The primary treatment for bruxism is a dental device called a night or mouthguard. These devices are worn inside the mouth during sleep to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding.
Missoula Dental offers custom-fitted mouthguards. Wearing your mouthguard during sleep will create a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, reducing the pressure placed on teeth and preventing further damage.
If your teeth have already sustained damage from bruxism, your dentist might recommend a crown to cover areas of extreme wear. Chipped and cracked teeth might also need a crown to provide additional protection.
If you’d like a diagnostic exam for bruxism or want to explore treatment options, schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.