How Dentistry Services in Brentwood can help with Bruxism

Bruxism, or clenching and grinding of the teeth, can cause tooth damage, jaw disorders, and frequent headaches. In most cases it is a relatively benign condition, requiring no treatment, however if you are experiencing symptoms, Dr. Alkhoury offers services to help treat the condition.

Bruxism is classified into two categories: sleeping and awake.

Awake bruxism involves tooth clenching and jaw bracing with little to no tooth grinding. On the contrary, sleep bruxism is characterized largely by automatic teeth grinding and rhythmic jaw contractions. It is usually a response to periods of wakening during sleep. Nearly 80 percent of bruxism episodes have been associated with sleep and their correlating arousal periods. It is also commonly connected to obstructive sleep apnea.

Dentists are not completely sure what causes bruxism. There can be a variety of contributing factors including stress, anxiety, anger, complications from Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease, recreational drug use, and side effects from antidepressants.

Those at an increased risk of bruxism are children, tobacco users, recreational drug users, and people who suffer from anxiety or stress disorders.

Symptoms of Bruxism:

  • Teeth that are worn or cracked
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Persistent headaches
  • Chronic facial pain
  • Earaches

Treatments for Bruxism:

If you suspect you are showing symptoms of bruxism, Dr. Alkhoury will perform a dental exam to check for tooth fractures, a breakdown of enamel, tooth sensitivity, and any other unusual wear on your teeth.

Depending on the severity of the case, Dr. Alkhoury may recommend several forms of treatment. For children, who typically outgrow bruxism, he may simply recommend a mouth guard to prevent damage to the teeth. If the cause is due to misalignment of the teeth, crowns may be required to reshape the surface of the teeth. Reconstructive dental work will usually correct the wear on the teeth but will not stop the bruxism. Behavioral therapy may be necessary. Dr. Alkhoury will work with you on the best position for your mouth and jaw to eliminate grinding and clenching of the teeth.

In addition, you will be encouraged to find ways to reduce your stress and avoid stimulating substances in the evening that may exacerbate bruxism.

Above all else, regular dental visits at Brentwood Family Dental will allow Dr. Alkhoury to monitor your teeth and discover the signs and symptoms of bruxism early.

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