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Understanding bruxism: Teeth grinding and how to tackle it

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually pretty common, especially amongst kids and adults who are stressed or anxious. Let’s break it down and learn more about what causes it, what it can do to our teeth, and how we can treat it to keep our smiles shining bright.

Causes of bruxism

So, why do we grind our teeth anyway? Well, it can be caused by many different things. Sometimes it’s because we’re feeling stressed out or worried about something. Other times, it might happen when we’re asleep and we don’t even realise we’re doing it. It can even be related to our bite, like if our teeth don’t align quite right.

Effects on our teeth

When we grind our teeth it can wear down the enamel, which is the hard outer layer that protects our teeth. Over time, this can lead to more serious problems, like tooth sensitivity, cracks, and jaw pain.

Treatment for bruxism

Discovering that you grind your teeth can be concerning, but there’s a range of effective treatments that Gosford Family Dentists can recommend to alleviate your symptoms and protect your dental health. From custom-fitted mouthguards to stress-reducing techniques and dental interventions, exploring these options with your Dentist can help you find relief and safeguard your smile

Custom-fitted mouthguards

These are specially made by our dentists to fit your teeth perfectly. 

Over-the-counter mouthguards

While not as precise as custom mouthguards, these can still provide protection.

Dental restorations

In cases where bruxism has caused damage to the teeth, dental restorations such as crowns or veneers may be necessary to restore their shape and function.

Stress management techniques

Stress management techniques such as regular exercise, relaxation practices like meditation or deep breathing, and ensuring adequate sleep can collectively mitigate the psychological and physiological factors contributing to bruxism. By promoting overall well-being and reducing tension in both mind and body, these techniques can effectively ease the underlying stressors that aggravate teeth grinding and clenching.

Muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants work by targeting the central nervous system to decrease muscle tension, including the jaw muscles, which are often affected by bruxism. By promoting relaxation in these muscles, muscle relaxants can effectively diminish the force and frequency of teeth grinding, providing relief and preventing further dental damage.

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol both have stimulant effects on the central nervous system, which can lead to heightened muscle activity in the jaw muscles. This increased muscle tension can aggravate the grinding and clenching associated with bruxism, potentially leading to more severe symptoms and dental complications over time.

Routine dental visits

Routine dental visits provide opportunities for our dentists to detect any changes or developments in your oral health, allowing for early intervention and prevention of potential complications associated with bruxism. Through ongoing monitoring and adjustments to treatment plans, our dentists can ensure that your dental care remains tailored to your specific needs, minimising the impact of bruxism on your overall oral health.

Bruxism is more common than you might think, especially when we’re feeling stressed or anxious. But don’t worry, there are a variety of ways to tackle it. So, don’t hesitate to make an appointment and talk with us about your options. Contact Gosford Family Dentists for your Bruxism solution.

Do you need help with teeth grinding? Contact Gosford Family Dentist Today

If you are suffering from teeth grinding, it’s time to book your next appointment with Gosford Family Dentists online or give our friendly staff a call on 4325 3221 to find the right solution and restore your smile. 

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