Is bruxism reversable

If you experience pain in your jaw after eating or sleeping, you are certainly not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from a similar condition, called bruxism, which is characterized by the grinding or clenching of teeth. It is a common issue affecting both adults and children, yet it is often unidentified because it can mimic other symptoms. Often occurring during sleep, it can lead to various dental problems such as tooth wear and breakage, jaw disorders, and chronic facial pain. But, is bruxism damage reversible? This blog post aims to shed light on this question.

Understanding Bruxism

Before we delve into the reversibility of bruxism damage, it’s essential to understand what bruxism is. It’s a condition where individuals unconsciously grind or clench their teeth, typically during sleep but also when awake in some cases. Bruxism can be triggered by various factors including stress, anxiety, abnormal bite, missing or crooked teeth, or sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Teeth grinding is often associated with people who use tobacco products or excessive alcohol consumption. It is important to review any medical and/or dental changes when you visit your dentist for your bi-yearly visit to determine if there is a cause for your teeth grinding.
The constant grinding can cause several dental issues such as worn enamel, tooth sensitivity, jaw pain or tightness in the jaw muscles, dull headache originating in the temples and damage to the inside of your cheek. In severe cases, it may lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Is Bruxism Damage Reversible?

The answer to this question largely depends on the extent of the damage caused by bruxism. Minor tooth wear from occasional teeth grinding can often be managed with regular dental check-ups and preventive measures. Minor bruxism can be treated with sealants or filling restorations to protect the tooth from further damage. If you are an athlete and find yourself grinding during sports, you may need a mouthguard specially for sports and high impact activity to prevent tooth damage.
However, severe cases of bruxism that have led to significant tooth wear or broken teeth may require more extensive dental procedures. In cases where this is severe bruxism damage, it is typically not reversible, but there are dental treatments that can help moving forward like orthodontics and custom night guards.

Restorative Dental Procedures for Bruxism Damage

In cases where bruxism has caused significant dental damage such as worn down enamel or cracked teeth, restorative procedures may be necessary. These could include bonding (where a tooth-colored resin is applied to repair damaged teeth), crowns (to cover and protect damaged teeth), root canal treatment (for severely damaged teeth with affected nerves), or even implants (if tooth loss has occurred).
These procedures not only help restore your smile but also prevent further damage from bruxism. However, they do not address the underlying cause of bruxism; hence it’s crucial to seek treatment for the condition itself.

Why do you need these procedures?

Bruxism can be a temporary issue, but many people find themselves with long-term damage from chronic bruxism habits. Instead of ignoring the problem, take steps to protect your teeth to avoid more damage.
Without protecting your enamel and underlying dentin, you can create dental problems like:
· Severe pain
· Sensitivity to temperature changes
· Darker, more yellow teeth appearance
· Cosmetic concerns
· Fracturing/Cracking teeth
· Headaches

Treating Bruxism: The Key To Preventing Further Damage

While some effects of bruxism may be reversible through restorative dentistry procedures mentioned above; preventing further damage requires treating bruxism itself. Treatment options vary depending on whether your bruxism is sleep-related or awake-related.
For sleep-related bruxism: If you grind your teeth while you sleep, you need to have an evaluation to see if it is related to a tongue tie. Often when the tongue is immobile or not able to sit in the correct position during sleep, it leads to grinding noises, complaints of a sore face or jaw while sleeping, and snoring. This is due to an inefficient airway that sometimes is easily treated with a small surgical procedure called a frenectomy.
For patients with sleep related bruxism, dentists often recommend oral appliances like mouth guards that keep your upper and lower teeth separated while you sleep thereby preventing grinding. It is recommended to go for a sleep study that can measure your oxygen levels while sleeping and how your body responds to sleep. In some cases where sleep apnea is a contributing factor, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines might be suggested.

Bruxism may also be treated with:
· Custom mouthguard: The most common way to treat bruxism is to create a custom mouthguard that is made from a mold of your teeth. This way the guard protects your teeth and soft tissues correctly and avoids additional stress on your muscles and teeth.
· Stress management techniques such as yoga meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy etc., are often recommended since stress and anxiety are common triggers for awake-bruxing.
· Orthodontic treatment – when your teeth are misaligned, it may cause bruxism symptoms because your jaw is improperly aligned.
· Botox treatment to help with TMJ muscle pain
· Avoiding lifestyle habits like smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and chewing gum

In Conclusion: Is Bruxism Damage Reversible?

Bruxism is a common condition, but in order to properly treat it, you need to find the root cause. To sum up, while minor damages from occasional grinding might be reversible with preventive care, severe damages due to chronic bruxing require restorative treatments which can be costly and time-consuming. Moreover, these treatments only address the symptoms not the cause hence managing or treating your bruxing habit is crucial for long-term oral health.
If you suspect you have symptoms of bruxing don’t ignore them! Early intervention can prevent further damage and help maintain your oral health. Contact Caldwell, Bills, Petrilli & West today! They can guide you towards an effective treatment plan tailored specifically for you.