Bruxism, Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity or habit that commonly occurs with most people at some point in their lives. The two main characteristics of this condition are grinding the teeth and clenching of the jaw. These actions usually occur during a person’s sleeping hours, but occasionally they occur during the day.

Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders. Chewing is a neuromuscular activity controlled by a subconscious process, but more highly controlled by the brain. During sleep, the subconscious process may become active while the higher control is inactive (asleep), resulting in bruxism.

Bruxism may cause the following symptoms:

Gum Recession – Bruxism is a leading cause of gum recession and tooth loss. Grinding teeth can also damage the soft tissue directly and deep pocket area where bacteria is able to form and decay the supporting bone.

Facial Pain – Grinding can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth. This can lead to muscle pain in the myofascial region and, in severe cases, may cause chronic headaches.

Occlusal Trauma – The abnormal wear patterns on the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of the teeth can lead to fractures, which if left untreated, may require restorative treatment.

As an effort to maintain optimal oral health, Drs. Scruggs and Molina have the experience, skills and knowledge to uniquely combine science and artistry that can literally redesign a patient’s occlusal bite. It can change a patient’s quality of life by creating a smile that is both healthier as well as capable of projecting an image of self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for bruxism.  However, once the patient’s teeth have been corrected, a customized acrylic mouth guard is fabricated that can be worn whenever necessary to protect the newly designed teeth.