Treating Bruxism: What to expect?
Diagnosis of bruxism
Bruxism can be diagnosed by the following factors:
- A positive history of stress and anxiety may be present.
- A detailed oral examination by the dentist will enable him to exclude other disorders which may cause similar symptoms like temporomandibular joint disorders, ear infections, various dental diseases, etc.
Treatment of bruxism
- As it is evident that stress is the main cause of bruxism, therefore it is important to effectively manage and control stress. If the sufferer is able to control his stress, the likelihood of bruxism bothering him can be reduced to a great extent. A number of procedures may help such as relaxation techniques, behavioral modifications, self-hypnosis, etc.
- Dentist may also suggest proper positioning of the teeth and tongue to reduce bruxism.
- Many cases of bruxism are benefitted by using a custom-made mouth guard which is worn during sleep. The mouth guard protects the teeth from damage and effectively reduces bruxism.
- The ingestion of alcohol may be avoided as it may worsen bruxism.
Further measures to relieve pain and provide self-care are listed below:
- Over the counter pain killer medicine.
- Application of ice or heat to painful jaw muscles.
- Avoiding intake of hard foods like nuts, candies, etc.
- Relaxation of facial muscles by physical therapy.
- Proper sleep.
- Massage of sore muscles of the face, neck and head.