Has a friend recently told you that you grind your teeth at night? Or maybe you know you‘re guilty of grinding your teeth, you may be wondering how to stop and what’s behind your urge to grind teeth.
There are a few different causes as to why you may be clenching or grinding your teeth (otherwise known as bruxism). So let’s explore them to see if orthodontic treatment could help you with your bruxism.
Here’s everything you need to know about teeth grinding and braces:
What is bruxism?
‘Bruxism’ is the term used to describe grinding or clenching teeth subconsciously. This may occur during the day, during sleep, or day and night.
It’s estimated up to 30% of people grind or clench their teeth. Pinpointing the exact cause of bruxism can be difficult, as there are a number of factors that may be at play.
Potential causes of bruxism include:
- Misalignment in the teeth and/or jaw bones
- Caffeine consumption
- Stress due to changes in the environment or within the family
- Medical conditions, like cerebral palsy
- Certain types of medications, specifically antipsychotics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
How do braces help with teeth grinding?
When your teeth or jaws are not in healthy alignment, more than the beauty of your smile is affected.
A bad bite can prevent the proper function of your jaws, throwing off the perfect harmony that your jaw muscles and joints work in. That’s why those with bruxism will often have a sore jaw or earaches. And enough teeth grinding can even cause TMJ-D (temporomandibular joint disorder).
So can braces stop teeth grinding?
Yes, braces can help reduce or eliminate bruxism symptoms! The main focus of orthodontics is the correction of malocclusions, aka fixing bad bites (NCRDSCB). So braces help with teeth grinding by treating it at the source!
At your first visit with us, our team will take x-rays, diagnostic photos, and take a digital impression of your smile. Then Dr. Saxe or Dr. Drowley will perform a visual exam of your teeth and bite, present your personalized treatment plan to you, and discuss your treatment options.
Our bruxism braces patients have the choice between traditional metal braces or advanced self-ligating braces (an advanced form of braces that require no tightening appointments and use less friction to straighten your teeth)!
Can braces cause teeth grinding?
No, orthodontic devices do NOT cause teeth grinding. But it can be easy for those in treatment to assume so as you may find yourself grinding your teeth more in the first few weeks of orthodontic treatment. This is normal with bruxism braces patients as tooth movement begins and your jaw bones adapt to the forces being exerted on them.
Our highly-experienced orthodontists will also recommend a night guard during treatment as teeth grinding is more common and often more intense at night. Your night guard will be able to displace the 250 pounds of pressure placed on your teeth, jaws, and braces when you grind your teeth. (Plus night guards are great at protecting your cheeks and lips from your brackets if you’re a side sleeper.)
Stop teeth clenching with braces treatment!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.
If you’re looking for relief from your bruxism tendencies, we’re here to help. Our experienced orthodontists near you will listen to your needs, assess your condition and help guide you down the right treatment path.
Ready to receive your free consultation and exam? Request yours today!