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Are you doing this while you sleep?

Rodney Baier, DDS
September 18, 2023

If you’ve ever heard the term Bruxism from your dentist, you may be clenching, bracing, gnashing, and/or grinding your teeth. You may be doing this nocturnally while you sleep, or due to stress throughout the day. If you’re not sure, it won’t be difficult to find out, simply ask your dentist!

The symptoms of bruxism are fairly easy to spot, as are the complications that can result from it. Damage that is accrued at night typically happens at a much higher rate than those who clench or grind due to stress. In fact, sleep bruxism effects don’t stop at tooth damage. Patients who grind or clench at night are more prone to sleep disturbances such as sleep apnea or gastric reflux symptoms.

While identifying the damage from bruxism is an everyday reality for most dental practices, the causes, and frequency of occurrence for bruxism are varied and not quite as easy to pinpoint. In fact, with Dental Professionals estimating a range from 5-95%, there is no agreement on the number of people who definitively brux. Daytime bruxing is most commonly associated with stress and can often be relieved simply by making suffered aware of their habit or by providing relief through massage or stress relief techniques.

Nighttime bruxism is a little tricky because it is an activity that occurs subconsciously and cannot be relieved through behavioral changes. The majority of sleeping bruxism episodes occur while lying horizontally with the face and torso facing up and may be associated with either a reduction in the airway passage or an increase in its resistance. Although research points to neurochemistry, autonomic system, and sleep arousal as possible triggers, the causes for sleep bruxism can still not be conclusively determined.

As a result, treatment for nighttime bruxism usually involves a thorough examination followed by the design of a custom mouth guard or splint. When Dr. Baier creates your appliance, he customizes it to direct your closures into a protruded posture that opens your airway without creating bulk or causing it to feel restrictive.

Once you have your appliance properly fitted so that we can eliminate or greatly reduce the risk for damage to reoccur, Dr. Baier will work with you to repair any damage your smile has suffered. If you are experiencing the visible wear or discomfort associated with Bruxism, call 404-851-9711 to schedule an appointment with our Dental Office in Sandy Springs, GA today. We will focus on your smile comprehensively and work with you to create a plan to achieve your ideal and most confident smile.

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