Treating Bruxism in your patients
Teeth grinding, medically known as Bruxism, refers to unconsciously clenching or grinding teeth. Over 25 million Americans grind their teeth and/or clench their jaw, either while awake or during sleep, and don’t realize they are doing this.
If not resolved, this activity can lead to weakened or cracked teeth, receding gums, pain in your patients’ jaw, headaches, and disrupted sleep.
Common symptoms of Bruxism
Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a tell-tale symptom. Often people learn that they grind their teeth from their sleep partner who hears the grinding at night.
If you suspect your patient may be grinding their teeth, examine their teeth, mouth and jaw for signs of Bruxism. The patient may have masticatory muscle hypertrophy and dental attrition due to lateral and excursive movements. They may also have tooth sensitivity, jaw sensitivity, muscle fatigue and tooth fractures.
Why should you treat Bruxism?
In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear the patient’s teeth down over time, reducing their ability to chew your food properly. Extensive dental work, such as bridges, crowns, root canal therapy, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures, may be needed if their natural teeth need to be repaired or replaced.
Not only can it result in dental attrition and tooth loss, but in severe cases, it can result in jaw pain, hearing loss, and even change the appearance of your patient’s face. Sleep Bruxism may also be a consequence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
How is Bruxism treated?
Recommended treatment for teeth grinding includes behavioral therapies and using mouth splints or oral devices.
An oral device or mouth splint like SomnoDent® and SomnoBrux™ are custom made from modern dental materials, giving your patients a precise fit while protecting teeth from Bruxing.
SomnoMed® manufactures the leading custom fit acrylic occlusal splints (dental guards), the SomnoBrux, to protect patient’s teeth against heavy grinding and Bruxism while also relieving symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) dysfunction.
An upper splint covering anterior and posterior sections of the arch. Cuspid rise included to assist or guide the patient to disclude the posterior teeth when they protrude or move laterally.