Bruxism is a condition in which a patient grinds or clenches his or her teeth, often without even realizing there is a problem. This issue can have significant effects on your dental health, causing wear and tear on the teeth and also straining the muscles responsible for the jaw’s movement.
Fortunately, bruxism can be effectively treated. The first step is consulting with an oral surgeon to determine which factors are causing the condition in your case.
Many patients start grinding their teeth because they have poor stress management skills. Therefore, their stress manifests in physical symptoms, such as those associated with bruxism. In these cases, patients may find relief from their symptoms if they reduce their stress or improve their response to it.
Structural concerns may also contribute to bruxism. A temporomandibular joint disorder – also known by the acronym TMJ – in which there is some defect in the jaw can create circumstances that increase the likelihood that you will grind your teeth.
Sometimes these cases can be managed conservatively. Patients may be able to wear a custom-crafted mouthguard at night to keep the teeth from touching each other. However, if that approach does not alleviate the symptoms, it may be necessary to consult with an oral surgeon to explore options for surgically correcting the issues with the jaw.
When a malocclusion is contributing to bruxism, the surgeon may collaborate with an orthodontist to correct the bite, especially if the patient wants to straighten crooked teeth at the same time. Your surgeon will give you more details on the recommended course of treatment, as well as giving you specific instructions on how to prepare for the surgery and what to expect afterward.
Bruxism can cause a number of oral health problems for patients. If you’ve experienced symptoms associated with this condition or been alerted to teeth grinding by a sleeping partner, contact Austin Oral Surgery at any of our convenient locations to schedule an evaluation. When you have access to effective treatment, you’ll experience less jaw discomfort and better oral health.