Causes and Treatment of Bruxism

Apr 11 • 2 minute read

What is Bruxism?[1]

This seemingly tricky-to-pronounce word refers to the habit of clenching or grinding the teeth. Patients may consciously clench their teeth while awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind their teeth while sleeping (sleep bruxism).

Doctors do not yet fully understand what causes bruxism as it may be due to a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors. What we do know is that clenching and grinding can cause some damage, but there are a variety of treatment options available.

Bruxing Symptoms

Bruxing wear is different from the wear and tear caused by overly aggressive brushing, acidic soft drinks, and abrasive foods.

At Villa Canyon Prosthodontics, we want to treat patients promptly, especially with a bruxism diagnosis as the effects can be quite severe. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some common signs and symptoms of bruxism:

        Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner

        Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose

        Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth

        Increased tooth pain or sensitivity

        Tired or tight jaw muscles or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely

        Jaw, neck, or face pain or soreness

        Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear

        Dull headache starting in the temples

        Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek

        Sleep disruption

What Can Be Done?

At Villa Canyon Prosthodontics--we will always discuss available options with you and recommend what we believe to be the most comfortable and least invasive treatment.

We aim to ease your anxiety should you be diagnosed with bruxism or need dental restorative treatment due to bruxism. Dr. Michael L. Bleeker is the go-to Scottsdale prosthodontist known by his patients for his compassionate attitude and quality dental care. Here are some common treatment options for bruxism:

        Mouthguards - A custom acrylic mouthguard can be worn on a long-term basis to prevent damage

        Botox® - Botox® can be injected into the muscles to relax and weaken them enough to prevent grinding

        Orthodontics - Realigning teeth can lead to the most reliable long-term prognosis for tooth grinding

        Other methods - Relaxation exercises; stress management education; biofeedback mechanisms

For more on Dr. Bleeker’s specialized background, click here. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Bleeker, please call 480-306-8510 or click here.

Remember to give your teeth the attention they need today!


[1] "Bruxism (teeth Grinding)." Mayo Clinic. August 10, 2017. Accessed April 10, 2018. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095.

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