Skip directly to content

Bruxism and Nightguard

Bruxism and Nightguard

The Crux of Bruxism

Some patients react to stress by grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. The constant pressure and motion can harm teeth, as well as muscles and tissues in and around the jaw. The condition, known as bruxism, can be remedied with a nightguard.

A nightguard is worn while sleeping. It is custom made to fit over the teeth in one jaw and prevent contact with the opposing teeth. The nightguard helps to relieve the pressure of grinding and clenching. Dr. Holsen will prescribe a nightguard based on the individuals' needs.

The Facts About Clenching & Grinding

Common symptoms of bruxism include a sore jaw, headaches, or earaches. Causes vary, but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors. Bruxism is most prevalent in women and generally found in about one-third of the population.

Individuals who react to stress with anger, pain, frustration, aggression, or competition are most commonly affected. People with bruxism may have other biting habits, such as biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the insides of their cheeks.

Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth can cause not only the aforementioned symptoms, but it may also contribute to TMJ ( Temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. Teeth rubbing together consistently will result in surface wear over time, which will cause dental problems. Insomnia, eating disorders, and depression can result from bruxism if left untreated.

Recent data now indicates that patients with sleep apnea may also develop bruxism. The combination of sleep apnea and bruxism is very detrimental not only to your natural teeth but your overall well-being.

A Solid Solution

How can you stop an unconscious habit? A thorough evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we'll create an orthodontic appliance, also called a nightguard, E-appliance, or splint to prevent grinding and clenching. Many types of nightguards exist, and patients react differently to the various styles. If one appliance does not work, another may. In many cases, simply wearing a nightguard will eliminate the problem. However, if the condition persists, we can prescribe alternative therapies to correct the issue.

Some practices that can relieve symptoms of bruxism include stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of face and neck muscles, applying ice or wet heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and hydrating the body. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMJ to be a factor, our team will do their very best to repair and treat you to provide as much relief as possible.