Bruxism is a common condition when you grind or clench your teeth. In most cases, people clench or grind their teeth while sleeping, and this can cause gum recession, which could lead or contribute to periodontal disease. At AZ Dental, Dr. Bui can look for signs of bruxism and let you know if you could benefit from treatment. In most cases, our periodontist will recommend a night guard or other oral appliances. If you grind or clench your teeth, we invite you to learn more about bruxism treatments in Sunnyvale, California, by calling us at 408-738-1000 and scheduling an appointment.

Bruxism is a common condition that most people experience at some point in their lives. Its most common characteristic is clenching or grinding your teeth, and it can occur both during the day and at night. In most cases, bruxism results in your front 6 teeth on both arches rubbing together. This repetitive, side-to-side action puts additional and unnecessary strain on your jaw joint and muscles. Oftentimes, this can lead to headaches, earaches, depression, eating disorders, and anxiety, as well as chronic stress, drug or alcohol abuse, and Alzheimer’s.

Bruxism can often be difficult to diagnose because of the tooth damage it causes. For many people, the wear on their teeth may seem like a result of tooth decay or other common issues. At our practice, our periodontist is trained to notice the signs of bruxism and provide proper treatment. In some cases, our periodontist may use a BiteStrip® to diagnose your bruxism. This device monitors your jaw activity while you sleep and can show patters that link to bruxism.

There are many oral and overall side effects that may result from bruxism. If you have bruxism, it is important to get it treated as soon as possible. Doing so may help you prevent things such as:

  • Tooth loss and gum recession: bruxism can damage your gum tissue directly, as well as loosen your tooth and cause pockets to form and provide a hiding place for bacteria and plaque to build up.
  • Occlusal trauma: because bruxism involves grinding or clenching your teeth the occlusal (chewing) surfaces can become won and may require extensive treatment.
  • Arthritis: in severe cases, bruxism can lead to arthritis in the jaw joints and cause great pain.
  • Myofascial pain: teeth grinding can result in shorter teeth, which can lead to severe pain in the head and neck areas.

While bruxism may be a rather severe condition, there are ways to treat it. In addition to managing stress and exercising, our periodontists may recommend:

  • Mouth/night guards: wearing a mouth guard or night guard can add protection between your two dental arches. Customized to fit your teeth, these oral appliances can minimalize the wear on your teeth and lessen other side effects.
  • NTI-tss device: this oral appliance is customized to fit over only your front teeth. It limits the movement of your jaw muscle to prevent grinding.
  • Botox®: Botox® can be used to relax your jaw muscles, which can help prevent grinding or clenching for a time. Botox® cannot, however, provide long-term protection.

If you have any questions about bruxism, its side effects, or its treatments, we welcome you to call or visit our practice today. We are here to help in any way!