The goal of treatment is to prevent permanent damage to your teeth and
reduce pain caused by bruxism. Treatment for bruxism varies depending on
bruxism related to stress, your doctor may recommend professional
counseling, psychotherapy, physical therapy or stress management
techniques. He or she may also prescribe a muscle relaxant
medication to temporarily ease the spasm in your clenched jaw.
If your bruxism seems to stem from dental problems,
your dentist may correct misaligned teeth. In severe cases, he or
she may need to use overlays or crowns to entirely reshape the
chewing surfaces of your teeth. A mouth guard or protective dental
appliance may be helpful if bruxism is severe enough to cause
extensive damage to your teeth.
Brain injury or
Bruxism related to
brain injury or neuromuscular illness can be difficult to treat.
Your doctor may suggest that you use a mouth guard.
If you develop bruxism as a side effect of antidepressant
medication, your doctor can change your medication or prescribe
another medication to counteract your bruxism. Studies indicate that
the drug gabapentin (Neurontin) may successfully treat bruxism
caused by antidepressant therapy.
If you grind your teeth because of stress, you may be able to prevent
the problem with professional counseling or strategies that promote
relaxation, such as exercise and meditation. Cutting down on your daily
intake of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine also may help, since bruxism
seems to worsen with these substances.
Children and adults can prevent damage caused by bruxism by wearing a
mouth guard or bite plate. These dental appliances are worn when you're
most likely to brux, to prevent your teeth from grinding together.
Over-the-counter mouth guards are available, but generally don't fit
well and can dislodge during bruxing. Your dentist can make a custom
mouth guard to fit your mouth.
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