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Hilliard Blank, DDS & Associates > Chicago Dental Blog > Bruxism


Bruxism : October 16, 2013

Modern Treatments for Bruxism and Teeth Grinding

By: Dr. Hilliard Blank

Do you ever wake up with a headache and not know why? Are your jaw muscles sore for no particular reason? Does your partner tell you about a dull, scraping sound that comes from your side of the bed at night? Millions of Americans, young and old, suffer from Bruxism without even knowing it. Bruxism is a medical term for grinding or clenching your teeth. It occurs during activities that cause anxiety or tension, and many people suffer from it during their sleep. It can severely damage your teeth if left untreated, fracturing dental fillings, causing heat and cold sensitivities, and wearing down gums. Aside from dental health, teeth grinding can cause lingering headaches, tight jaw muscles, and chronic pains in the face, neck, and shoulders.

The causes for Bruxism can be complex and diverse, but the solutions are simple. There are two main reasons that people grind their teeth. Either their teeth are misaligned and their bite is uneven, or there is some type of psychological stress causing tension. We have several treatment plans for Bruxism and will help you determine the best course of action. If the problem is tooth alignment, we can reshape your bite to improve your comfort and the symmetry of your bite.

Whether or not your teeth are aligned, the primary treatment we recommend is to create a night-guard. The night guard is one of the most cost-effective treatments for Bruxism. Many insurance plans will provide coverage for this treatment. We can create a custom mold to fit any mouth and preemptively reduce the pain, discomfort, and damage of Bruxism. The night guard is designed to be easily put in and removed, with a durable outer layer and a soft inner layer that rests gently on the teeth and gums.

Without treatment, Bruxism can last for many years. In children, it is possible that the habit is outgrown by teenage years. But for others, teeth grinding can continue until the anxious feelings or stressful situations subside. The longer you wait to treat your Bruxism, the worse damage you can cause to your teeth. Call our office to find out more information about the services we can offer and our selection of modern treatments for teeth grinding.

For more information, check out our Dental Videos page and watch the night guard video under the category “Other.”