Bruxism or grinding of the teeth is an action that occurs primarily during sleep, is related to rhythmic movement of the jaw and often times may be associated with snoring or sleep apnea. For the most part it is not related to bite problems or stress but is related to a lack of quality sleep.
Signs or Symptoms of Bruxism include:
- Tired jaw muscles upon awakening
- Witnessing audible sounds with grinding
- Morning headaches
- Excessive wear of the teeth, mainly at the biting or on the chewing surfaces
- Teeth that are sensitive
- Teeth that are broken or chipped
- Wear of teeth or notching at the gum line
- TMD symptoms
Children with TMD or who Snore
Children may also have TMD symptoms as well as problems with their sleep. Their symptoms can be different and are often related to bruxism, a lack of adequate or poor sleep, enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids, or trauma. Symptoms might include:
- Audible sounds of grinding during sleep
- Wear on the back teeth
- Mouth Breathing while sleeping
- Irritable or moody
- Poor school performance
- Bed wetting
- Frequent earaches or throat infections
- Lack of lower jaw growth or related bite problems
- If there is concern about your child, please ask for more information. A consultation can also be scheduled.
How are these Conditions Treated?
Each of the areas discussed are treated in a manner that is specific to that condition. Treatment will vary based on the specific diagnosis as well as the findings at the evaluation. Treatment may consist of:
Removable appliances that are worn in the mouth, usually while sleeping, designed to treat TMD or for Snoring and/or Sleep Apnea
- Oral appliances that help reduce tooth or joint damage
- Physical therapy for the head, neck, and jaw
- Referral to other appropriate health care providers to address concerns related to these conditions
- Medications for pain and inflammation
- Conservative home self care protocols
- Biofeedback and/or stress management
- Diet / weight management
Orthodontics is done using both fixed braces and removable type appliances that enhance jaw growth. Each situation is diagnosed individually and the treatment is then customized. A consultation can be arranged to discuss specific concerns.