Treatment of Bruxism

If bruxism is diagnosed early and the causative factor(s) identified, it may be possible to cure bruxism permanently, depending on the underlying cause. If diagnosed late (i.e. after bruxism has become habitual), the management is mainly behavior modification and treating associated factors such as sleep disorder, alcoholism, smoking, malocclusion, anxiety, stress, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) etc.

There are various methods used for treatment of bruxism such as dental/mouth guard, use of electrical simulation, biofeedback, use of Botox, repairing of the damage etc.

Dental guard:

Dental/mouth guards are used to prevent abrasions, which are usually made of plastic and fitted over the teeth. The guards can reduce muscle strain and prevent damage to temporomandibular joint by allowing the upper and lower jaws to move freely and reducing muscle strain. Dental guards should be used during sleeping.

Biofeedback:

By using biofeedback technique a conscious or subconscious signal is given to the affected individual of his/her bruxism, which helps the individual to reduce the behavior during day time as well as night time. For this purpose biofeedback device is worn by the affected individual. The device generate a sound when the person wearing it makes clenching, which gradually becomes louder (or it can be preset by the user) until person wakes up or the clenching act is stopped. This should be initially practiced during day time. After daytime practice the user generally learns to relax during sleep even without waking up.

Electrical stimulation:

Application of electrical impulse can reduce grinding/clenching, by triggering an inhibitory response in the brain which relaxes the jaw-muscles and inhibits the bruxism, without waking the patient up. Electrical devices are available for this purpose.

Use of Botox in bruxism:

Use of Botox or botulinum toxin can reduce bruxism. A dilute form of Botox injection is injected to weaken the muscles (masseter muscle) to reduce effects of grinding/clenching.

Repairing the damage:

During grinding/clenching repeatedly in bruxism, the enamel of teeth may be damaged, which need to be repaired prosthetic crowns with suitable materials.

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