Rockwall & Paris, Texas
People demonstrate anxiety and stress in various ways, such as nail-biting or nervous twitching, and bruxism, also known as teeth grinding. Bruxism is so common that many people have it and are not even aware, although they may wake up frequently with jaw pain. A person may grind their teeth for various reasons, but regardless of why this issue is occurring, the most important thing is to address and correct this issue before unnecessary damage occurs to your teeth. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to help correct bruxism and ensure that your teeth remain healthy and strong. If bruxism is not treated, a range of issues can develop as a result, some of the most common of which include:
- Sleep apnea or disrupted sleep
- Broken, cracked, or chipped teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Frequent toothaches
- Teeth become worn down
- Jaw soreness
- Chronic headaches
- Chronic earaches
- Facial pain
Overview & Options for Treatment
Treatment for bruxism will begin with an initial consultation, during which we will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause of your bruxism and discuss available treatment options. Although it is not always possible to determine the underlying cause of bruxism, it is important to be aware that in some cases, bruxism can be corrected by making changes to your lifestyle. People who work high stress jobs or who experience a great deal of stress on a frequent basis are more likely to develop bruxism. By practicing mindfulness, doing yoga, exercising more, or engaging in other stress relieving activities, you may be able to correct or at least improve your bruxism. Losing weight, limiting alcohol, and cutting down on caffeine can also be helpful in alleviating bruxism.
If making these changes does not improve your bruxism, further treatment options can be explored. Though not a cure for bruxism, one of the most common methods for reducing the damage being caused to your teeth each night is to wear a mouth or night guard. A custom fit guard absorbs the force of your bite while clenching and evenly disperses this pressure, which reduces the damage your teeth will sustain and reduces your risk of developing more serious oral health issues.
Though effective in reducing these harmful effects, this guard will not solve the underlying issue. If you have had issues with bruxism for many years and are beginning to experience oral health issues as a result, more intensive treatment options may be necessary. This is especially true for patients whose bruxism is the result of improper occlusion or misaligned bite. In addition to causing bruxism, having a misaligned bite can cause other issues to develop, such as TMJ disorder, chronic pain, damage to your teeth, gums, jawbone, and difficulty speaking. More recently sleep apnea and other related issues have been associated with bruxism and may require a sleep study to assess your needs.
If the underlying cause of your bruxism is due to improper occlusion, the following treatment methods may be considered:
- Orthodontics: In some cases, orthodontic treatment may be sufficient in moving teeth to their correct positions and correct common malocclusion issues like underbite, overbite, or misaligned bite. Orthodontics may not be a viable solution for every patient and treatment time can vary widely.
- Occlusal Adjustment: Bruxism can sometimes be corrected with an occlusal adjustment, which distributes the pressure of your bite across all surfaces of the teeth by reshaping the biting surfaces. In addition to correcting bruxism, an occlusal adjustment can also prevent specific areas of your mouth from experiencing too much pressure, wearing down, and becoming painful.
- Tooth Splinting: Tooth splinting bonds loose teeth together with an adhesive material that keeps the teeth in place, allowing for the formation of more stable connection between the tooth and bone.
- Full Mouth Reconstruction: For extreme cases of improper occlusion that is resulting in bruxism and other oral health issues, full mouth reconstruction may be performed, which can involve several different procedures performed over a period of time.
The cost of bruxism treatment will largely depend on what type of treatment is required, whether any additional procedures are being performed and your dental insurance plan. It is also important to factor in the cost of the initial visit and any follow up appointments that may be necessary.
For patients who are covered under a dental insurance plan, although we are not in-network, we will gladly help prepare and file your claim to ensure you receive your maximum reimbursement. Payment is due in full on the day of treatment. We accept cash, check, Visa, Discover, Mastercard, and American Express. If you are concerned about the cost of receiving treatment, please know that we offer our patients Compassionate Finance, which offers a variety of payment solutions with fixed interest rates and manageable monthly payments and CareCredit®, which offers 24-monty payment plans with zero interest, as well as low-interest financing for 24-60 months.