Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common dental problem, but it’s usually a symptom of a more serious issue. Many patients don’t even realize they grind or gnash their teeth or clench their jaw until they experience pain and tooth damage.
Dr. Mojgan Mazhari has advanced training from the Las Vegas Institute in the diagnosis and treatment of complex dental problems associated with the bite, or occlusion. Here’s how she might approach bruxism treatment and put an end to teeth grinding.
Why Do People Develop Bruxism?
While the common causes of bruxism aren’t entirely understood, the consensus is a combination of factors contribute to the condition, such as:
- Malocclusion (poorly aligned teeth)
- Response to pain (e.g., from an earache or teething)
- Stress and anxiety
- Sleep disorders
- Medications (e.g., certain antidepressants)
- Lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking, alcohol, caffeine)
It’s essential to get a thorough dental exam to identify the exact causes of your teeth grinding and develop a comprehensive care plan.
Advanced Diagnostics for Teeth Grinding Treatment
To determine if your bruxism has a dental-related cause, Dr. Mazhari uses the K-7 Evaluation System to thoroughly evaluate the function of your jaw joint, muscles, and surrounding tissue. Using electromyography and joint sonography, she can accurately pinpoint where a problem exists in your jaw joint function.
Once your jaw position has been determined, she’ll recommend additional treatments necessary to maintain a healthy bite, which may include:
- Mouth guard or oral appliance. For many patients, conservative treatment with a custom mouth guard prevents teeth grinding by positioning the jaw correctly. This appliance can also be worn when feeling stressed, as this is a common trigger for jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
- Restorative dentistry. If the teeth aren’t making proper contact when biting, Dr. Mazhari may recommend a restorative dental procedure to adjust the surfaces or repair tooth damage.
- Orthodontics. Treatment with orthodontics might also be a solution to address crooked teeth and align the bite.
- TENS therapy. Excess stress and tension can be addressed with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to allow the muscles to relax and function normally.