To prevent further damage to the teeth and jaw, bruxism is treated by placing a removable custom-fitted plastic appliance called a night guard between the upper and lower teeth. Although the clenching and grinding behavior may continue, the teeth wear away the plastic instead of each other.
In some cases, abnormal occlusion may be adjusted and high spots removed so that the teeth fit together in a more comfortable position. Missing teeth may be replaced and crooked teeth may be straightened with orthodontic treatment to eliminate possible underlying causes of bruxism. In cases where jaw muscles are very tight, a dentist may prescribe muscle relaxants.
Bruxism may cause permanent damage to teeth and chronic jaw pain unless properly diagnosed and promptly treated. It is considered a major risk factor for the failure of dental implants. The behavior may be eliminated if its underlying causes are found and addressed.
Increased awareness in patients prone to anxiety, aggression, or anger may prevent the habit of bruxism from developing.
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Lobbezoo, F., W. J. Groenink, A. A. Kranendonk, et al. "A Reliability Study of Clinical Occlusal Tooth Wear Measurements." Journal of Oral Rehabilitation 29 (September 2002): 881-882.
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Patience Paradox, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,