Skillfully Treating Bruxism in the Greater Merrimack Valley

If you’re searching for a dental practice offering bruxism treatment in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, or the surrounding area, look no further than Smiles by Stylos Dental Health & Sleep Center. We’ve been welcoming patients from across the Greater Merrimack Valley since 1987 and we’re proud to offer a wide range of general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and sleep services, including treatment for bruxism.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism occurs when someone grinds or clenches their teeth while they’re either awake or asleep (bruxism that occurs during sleep is considered to be a sleep-related movement disorder). You may not always be aware that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth, so it’s important to look for signs such as:

  • Worn, flattened, chipped, broken, or loose teeth
  • Damage to the inside of your cheeks
  • Pain in your teeth, jaw, face, or neck (many people describe this pain as feeling like an earache)
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles  
  • A dull headache that starts in your temples

If you experience bruxism while you’re sleeping, you may also notice that your sleep patterns have been disrupted.

What Causes Bruxism?

Researchers are still working to determine exactly what causes bruxism, but studies suggest that it may be connected to genetic, physical, and psychological factors. For example, you may have an increased risk of developing bruxism if you:

  • Regularly experience anxiety, stress, tension, frustration, or anger
  • Drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Use recreational drugs
  • Have a family history of bruxism
  • Have certain other medical, mental health, or sleep disorders (e.g., attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, dementia, epilepsy, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, night terrors, Parkinson’s disease, or sleep apnea)
  • Take certain psychiatric medications

Bruxism is also common among young children, with most children growing out of it before they reach adulthood.

What Does Bruxism Treatment Involve?

Bruxism treatment typically focuses on repairing the teeth, preventing further damage, and relieving symptoms. If we determine that you have bruxism, we may recommend one or more of the following bruxism management techniques:

  • Wearing an occlusal mouthguard
  • Receiving BOTOX® injections
  • Taking a muscle relaxant
  • Reshaping the surface of your teeth
  • Installing a crown over a damaged tooth
  • Learning how to properly position your mouth and jaw

Our bruxism dentists can develop a customized treatment plan that’s specially designed to meet your needs. Notably, if your bruxism has resulted from stress or anger, you may also want to consider practicing meditation, attending therapy, or taking part in another activity that will help you relax.

Meet With a Bruxism Specialist

If you think you might have bruxism, it’s important to not delay seeking treatment. As was noted above, in some cases, bruxism can damage a person’s teeth and dental restorations and cause facial pain and headaches. It can also lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Contact Smiles by Stylos today to schedule a consultation at our Chelmsford, MA, dental clinic. We’ll be happy to tell you more about our practice, answer your questions, and arrange a time for you to meet with one of the teeth grinding specialists on our team. We look forward to helping you take the next step toward bruxism relief.