Has a friend or partner 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, headaches or even sometimes earaches. Repetitive teeth grinding can even cause TMJ-D (temporomandibular joint disorder).
So can braces stop teeth grinding?
There is no magic wand where orthodontics, including braces or Invisalign, will miraculously cure teeth grinding. However, bite correction through orthodontic treatment can be a good option to reduce buxism symptoms. Since the main focus of orthodontics is the correction of malocclusions, aka fixing bad bites (NCRDSCB) orthodontics can be a good option to help with bruxism 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. Caudill or Dr. McNeight 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 clear or metal self-ligating braces (an advanced form of braces and use less friction to straighten your teeth), or Invisalign.
The best part? We’re Same Day Orthodontists! So you can get your braces on at your first appointment and get relief from your teeth grinding that much sooner.
Can braces cause teeth grinding?
No, orthodontic devices typically 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 patients as tooth movement begins and your jaw bones adapt to the forces being exerted on them.
Our highly-experienced orthodontists can recommend a night guard during treatment as teeth grinding is more common and often more intense at night. A night guard is almost alway recommended after orthodontics is complete that will double as a retainer. 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.
Stop teeth clenching with braces treatment!
Interested in learning more about braces as a bruxism treatment? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our cool team at Caudill & McNeight Orthodontics would love to hear from you. You can call or text us at (321) 259-3237!
Take the first step to curb your bruxism tendencies today! Request your complimentary exam with us at one of our orthodontist offices in Merritt Island, Melbourne or Viera.
We’ll help you catch a wave of confidence!