[Dental Care] Managing Bruxism | SHL

Bruxism is involuntary teeth grinding and clenching. Some people experience this condition during the day, while most suffer from sleep bruxism.

It's common in young adults, children, and adolescents, but it doesn't rule out older adults. Teeth grinding can occur at a later age depending on the severity of the factors believed to be causing it.

While there is no complete cure to stop teeth clenching, the frequency can be reduced.

There are also dental and medical treatments available that can relieve symptoms and reduce the impact on your wellbeing. They will help you deal better with bruxism.

When is the right time to see your doctor?

Once you discover that you have significant symptoms, you need to consult your dentist or doctor. The following are tell-tale signs that you may need intervention or treatment:

  • damaged, worn, or sensitive teeth
  • painful ear, jaw, or face
  • When your partner complains about the grinding noises you make while you sleep

A dentist can treat your dental problems, while a doctor can diagnose whether you have bruxism, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or chronic stress.

Teeth grinding can also be triggered by various factors. Hence, it is important to know the actual score. This will help the specialist recommend the best possible bruxism treatment to resolve your teeth grinding problem.

What happened after the doctor found the cause?

When consulting a doctor, you need to answer his or her questions, undergo a thorough examination, and possibly some tests. These are necessary steps in determining the cause of your teeth grinding.

If your bruxism is related to mental and emotional issues, they can refer you to a counselor or licensed therapist.

If clenching your teeth is related to certain sleep disorders, a sleep specialist will be suggested to assess your condition. Many people with sleep apnea or other sleep disorders have a habit of grinding their teeth.

If bruxism damages your teeth and jaw, see a dentist. Like the doctor, the dentist assesses your oral health, your daily routine, your sleeping habits and your medication.

They check the tooth abnormalities and damage to the enamel. If they think there is a problem with the inside of your cheek or bone, you may be advised to have an X-ray.

They evaluate the degree of sensitivity of your jaw muscles or check for abnormal expansion of the jaw. If you have other issues, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and ear pain, you will be referred to the right specialist.

Bruxism Treatment and Other Approaches

Bruxism Treatment

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Not all teeth grinding problems need to be addressed, especially in children. Many children who clench their teeth will outgrow the condition without treatment. As for adults, this is case by case.

Some grind their teeth so mildly that they don't need therapy or medication. In severe bruxism, however, medical and dental approaches, as well as conventional therapies, can help alleviate pain, discomfort or damage.

Dental approaches

It is important to maintain or correct worn teeth. Worn and damaged teeth can be a loss of confidence. Tooth corrections and the use of mouth guards or splints will not prevent teeth grinding from occurring, but they will help you prevent further damage.


Some of the recommended approaches to treating bruxism include:

  • Stress or anxiety management – It teaches the techniques to help you relax and reduce worries. Meditation is one of the effective strategies. When you're stressed, the muscles of the body, including the muscles of the jaw, are tense or knotted. Filled emotions can trigger unconscious movements and lead to clenching and grinding of teeth.
  • Behavior change – Changing behavior on purpose will help you manage your bruxism better. It involves practicing the correct jaw and mouth positions.


Medications are usually given for severe bruxism, especially when the other approaches don't work.

  • Antidepressants and prescription anxiety medications for short-term use. They will help if your bruxism is related to chronic stress or emotional problems.
  • Muscle relaxants are prescribed for people who want a good night's sleep. Taking medication before bed will help you avoid daytime fatigue, which can drain your energy and affect work productivity.
  • Botox injection is recommended for anyone who wants to stop grinding teeth temporarily. This bruxism treatment involves injecting botulinum toxin to relieve the stress on the masseter or masticatory muscle. It reduces the occurrence of teeth grinding and discomfort on the face.

It is also a safe wide neck treatment for people with masseter hypertrophy. Find the best cosmetic clinic or specialist for the procedure. It may be a simple and quick treatment, but having a trusted and experienced person giving the injection will give you more confidence.

Regardless of your choice of treatment, finding intervention from a medical or dental specialist will help you manage the signs and symptoms of bruxism effectively.

Bruxism treatments are designed to reduce pain and prevent further damage. The sooner you get them, the better.

About the author:

Laura Bell is a regular contributor to websites on various topics. Her interests include modern trends, technology, healthcare and anything else that affects the quality of life of her readers.

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