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Posted by Chomper Labs on 05/03/2021

Treatments for Teeth Grinding: Night Guards and Beyond

In our stress-filled world, teeth grinding has become all too common. Its prevalence has been on the rise, causing many to seek out ways to decrease or stop their grinding and its negative effects. While research has been somewhat limited so far into the various methods of treatment, there are several promising options that are gaining popularity as more people try them and report on their results. We’ll go over some of the solutions that are currently available for teeth grinding and how they work.

One of the most well known and frequently recommended treatments for teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a night guard. A night guard acts as a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. This helps to not only protect the actual surfaces of your teeth, but also acts as a cushion to absorb the clenching force of your jaw muscles to take some of the tension off of your jaw joint. Of course, this treatment method addresses the symptoms of teeth grinding, rather than the cause, but it is effective in quickly and efficiently protecting teeth, decreasing headaches, and improving sleep quality. Since the fit and quality is very important for the effectiveness of your night guard, it’s essential to read night guard reviews to make sure that the night guard you’re getting will do its job properly.

A newer method for treating bruxism is Botox. Yes you read that right. Botox, which has typically been used for cosmetic purposes, is now finding a new purpose as a treatment for teeth grinding. To find out why, let’s first talk about why Botox is used for its traditional cosmetic purposes. Botox is a neurotoxin that causes paralysis of the muscles that it’s injected into. This may sound alarming, but Botox has been widely studied and researched to assure it’s safety. Though for cosmetic purposes it is traditionally used on muscles throughout the face to reduce the formation and appearance of wrinkles, in the case of bruxism, it is used on the muscles responsible for jaw movement. The Botox weakens the activation of the jaw muscles (typically the masseter and temporalis muscles), thereby lessening their ability to grind and clench the teeth. Many people have found Botox to be effective in decreasing their grinding, though the effects are temporary and the treatment typically needs to be repeated every few months as the effects wear off.

Another interesting treatment method for teeth grinding is acupuncture. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles as specific points to stimulate nerves and muscles. For those who grind their teeth, the goal is to relieve pain and tension throughout the jaw and temples. Acupuncture has also been recommended to help relieve stress, which is a primary cause of teeth grinding. At this point, there is little scientific research on acupuncture and teeth grinding, with much of its reports of success being from anecdotal sources from individuals who found that it benefited them. With more and more of this anecdotal evidence coming to light, it’s likely that more scientific studies will be done to further examine its efficacy.

Teeth grinding is an issue that is affecting more and more people, and as a result, new treatment methods are being tested and investigated. Not every treatment method will be right for everyone. Some may work wonders for one person while doing nothing for another. And because teeth grinding is so complex, involving both physical and psychological factors, the effectiveness of treatment methods can be equally complex to determine. When exploring new treatment methods, it is always important to consider the research and to determine what is best for you based on your personal needs.

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