Bruxism

Did you know that tooth grinding, or bruxism, is a common problem that can lead to serious dental damage? In fact, many people grind their teeth without even realising it! If you think you might be grinding your teeth at night, it’s important to protect your smile.

Luckily, there are lots of ways to prevent and treat bruxism. One way is by wearing a custom-fit mouth guard while you sleep.

If you’re interested in trying out a mouth guard for bruxism, keep reading for some tips on how to choose the right one for you.

Bruxism can result in a variety of problems. Common symptoms of teeth grinding include tooth pain, headaches, muscle tightness, jaw pain, and damaged teeth. A mouth guard is designed to prevent these problems.

Most cases of bruxism can be easily treated by wearing a night guard on your teeth while sleeping. Night guards are also called dental guards, mouth guards, nocturnal bite plates, and bite splints. They function by acting as a barrier between your lower and upper teeth. When you clench your jaw, the mouth guard helps to relieve tension and cushion the jaw muscles. This cushioning not only relieves facial and jaw pain, but it also protects your tooth enamel.

You can purchase night guards over-the-counter without a dentist’s prescription. But these options may not work for everyone since OTC mouth guards are not custom-fitted. Our dentist at Burwood Dental Care will perform an oral evaluation and determine which type of occlusal splint will work best for you or your specific needs. The dentist will get impressions of your mouth and then create your custom-fitted mouthguards.

There are a lot of benefits to wearing mouth guards. These may include the following:

Prevents tooth damage. People who experience sleep bruxism unconsciously clench their teeth while sleeping, it can result in chipping or breaking of the teeth. It may also damage fillings and make the teeth sensitive due to excessive enamel wear. However, wearing night guards helps prevent this type of damage. It has already saved a lot of people from the cost of tooth restoration procedures and other dental treatments.

Alleviate headache. Bruxism can cause tension and frequent headaches. Teeth grinding and clenching cause stress in the jaws, ears, and even the head. It’s one reason individuals wake up with headaches in the early morning. With a night guard, the pressure in the teeth and jaw is alleviated, reducing or eliminating headaches.

Reduce the risk of Temporomandibular disorder. TMJ is a disorder in which the muscles we use to chew are tight and sore, and the joint between the jaw and the skull is dysfunctional. TMJ is caused by grinding teeth, which stresses the muscles, nerves, and ligaments around the jaw. A night guard might help decrease muscular tiredness and TMJ pain.

What Is Involved In The Process Of Getting A Mouth Guard For Bruxism?

To offer the optimum fit and optimal protection, custom mouth guards are deliberately constructed to match the patient’s teeth and bite. The patient will need to go to the dentist to have their teeth impressions taken. This procedure is straightforward and takes about 15 minutes.

Making an impression. Over-the-counter mouth guards differ from those made by the dentist because custom-made night guards are tailored to fit the patient precisely. This is achieved by taking a mouth impression; a negative copy of the lower and upper teeth is made so that a plaster cast can be made from it. The cast, also known as the model cast or mould, is used by the dental laboratory to create the customised night guard.

Creating the mouth guards. Dental impressions are important in the fabrication of the night guard. The material (soft, dual laminated, or hard acrylic) is shaped around the mould to provide an exact fit between the lower and upper teeth. The night guard can be customised to fit either the lower or upper teeth. Following the fabrication of the night guard, the mould is used to test the fit and alignment of the bite. Whenever necessary, minor adjustments are made.

Delivery. The night guards are sent to the patients with proper wear and care instructions as soon as they are finished. They come with a case in which they can be stored while not in use. Since the night guards are made from the cast created from the dental impression, there is very little variation. They should fit snugly and comfortably, and they should be stable in the arch. It should not rock or press on any area of the mouth, causing pain and discomfort.

How To Clean Your Mouth Guards?

We recommend cleaning your mouth guard to prevent damage and bacteria from growing in them. You may clean your mouth guard in a number of ways with household items, and here are some tips on how to keep it clean:

Non-abrasive toothpaste and toothbrush

A soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste can be used to clean your mouthguard. To avoid cross-contamination of bacteria, keep a separate toothbrush for this purpose.

Hard brushes and abrasive toothpastes should be avoided since they can damage your mouthguard.

Mild soap and water

Another alternative is to use soap and water. To avoid harming your mouthguard, use only a gentle, alcohol-free soap.

Mouthwash

Mouthwash has antibacterial properties, making it suitable for cleaning your mouthguard. Use only alcohol-free mouthwash to avoid damage.

Baking soda

You can also use baking soda to remove debris and eliminate any bad odours.
Check your mouthguard occasionally for any signs of wear. If you find any holes, fractures, or become loose, contact your dentist.

Why Should You Treat Or Manage Bruxism?

Severe grinding can result in fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. Loose teeth can create spaces in the gum lines that may attract bacteria to grow and eventually cause gum recession. Gum recession is a condition in which the gums pull back from the tooth surface, exposing the roots. This issue can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Moreover, chronic clenching can wear down your teeth, and dental restorations such as bridges, crowns, implants, root canals, and dentures may be required to restore your damaged teeth.

Severe bruxism can not only result in broken teeth or tooth loss, but it can also negatively impact your jaws, leading to or worsening temporomandibular disorder, affecting your overall appearance and proper function of the jaws.

Possible Causes Of Bruxism

Many factors may contribute to developing the habit of tooth grinding that may eventually lead to bruxism. Hence, it can be difficult to determine the main cause of the condition. Nevertheless, a combination of different factors may result in bruxism. Possible causes can include the following:

Other Treatment Options For Bruxism

In severe cases, where tooth wear has caused sensitivity or the inability to chew properly, your dentist may need to reshape the chewing surfaces of your teeth or use dental crowns to fix the damage.

Other treatments may include:

Stress management

If you grind your teeth as a result of stress, you may be able to avoid the problem by adopting relaxation techniques such as meditation. If the bruxism is caused by anxiety, seeking help from a professional therapist or counsellor may be beneficial.

Biofeedback

Using biofeedback, which is a method that uses monitoring techniques and equipment, can help you control muscle activity in your jaw. And you may be able to change your habits.

Jaw exercise

Jaw exercises like stretching, massaging the jaw muscles, and applying hot packs to the jaw will help relax the jaw muscles and prevent the jaw from clenching at night.

Treatment for associated disorders

Bruxism can be caused by underlying health conditions such as sleep apnea or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The grinding of teeth may be improved by diagnosing and treating associated disorders.

As with any medical condition, determining the root cause of the problem is critical in order to identify a suitable treatment. If you are suffering from bruxism symptoms, consult with a dentist to determine which treatment options are best for you.

The Cost Of Custom Mouth Guards In New South Wales

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The cost of a dental mouth guard varies depending on the case and type of mouth guard. A personalised mouth guard is more expensive than an over-the-counter mouthguards, but because it is customised, it reduces your risks. You are less likely to suffer severe injuries and require costly dental care. The average cost of a custom mouthguard for teeth grinding is $780 to $1,000. At Burwood Dental Care, we offer a choice of payment plans to help break down your mouth guard cost into more affordable regular payments.

Final Thoughts

The force of unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth is powerful enough to cause damage to your teeth. That is why the most well-known treatment for bruxism is a custom mouth guard. This dental appliance functions as a physical barrier between the upper teeth and lower teeth to minimise the pressure of grinding and give cushioning to the teeth.

There are also night guards available in stores, but since they are one-size-fits-all, they may tend to cause discomfort in some areas of your mouth.

If you have any questions about bruxism or dental mouthguards, please don’t hesitate to ask a dental professional. Call Burwood Dental Care at 03 7034 0333 right away, we are here to improve quality of life by helping you maintain good dental health.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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As advised by Victoria's Chief Health Officer and Premier Daniel Andrews, it is expected that from 11.59 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021, the current COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted for Greater Melbourne.

Lockdown restrictions have now been lifted across Victoria. The Authorised Worker list no longer applies which means that dental practices can return to pre-lockdown settings with no restrictions on patient access to care.

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