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ZEPHYRA's avatar

Bruxism victim! What can I do to reduce it?

Asked by ZEPHYRA (21515points) May 30th, 2010

Teeth-grinding or clenching in my sleep is becoming worse. Apparently there is something that can be put into the mouth during sleep to prevent this, but is there something simpler or more practical? Do any of you suffer from this problem and where do you think it stems from? Just a bad habit?

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8 Answers

Buttonstc's avatar

The best solution to prevent further tooth damage is to have this professionally done by a dentist’s office.

They will take an impression of your teeth. This will be sent to a lab which will produce a strong but soft and resilient bite plate.

The one I had went over the bottom teeth and acted as a cushion.

It may be an initial expense but it’s worth it to prevent thousands of dollars in later repair from cracked and worn teeth.

For some people its caused by tension but for others it’s just an unconscious habit.

The best solution, regardless of cause, is continuous use of the bite plate. It’s not that difficult to get used to the soft kind. It’s only worn at night when you’re sleeping.

If you also grind your teeth during the daytime, that is most likely tension related and calls for different approaches since a soft bite plate isn’t too practical in daytime.

Merriment's avatar

I suggest taking @Buttonstc ‘s excellent advice about seeking professional bite guards.

My clenching and grinding was a lifetime habit induced by stress and aided and abetted by a poorly aligned bite. The result of all that wasn’t pretty.

The damage I did to my own teeth from clenching and grinding was nearly $20 grand and 3 years in the fixing.

I now wear retainers/bite guards all day and eventually will be only wearing them at night….and for the rest of my life.

lillycoyote's avatar

A mouth guard/bite plate is the only way to go. You really need to discuss this with your dentist. A custom mouth guard made by your dentist is expensive, a few hundred dollars, but it will probably save your teeth. You want to have teeth right? Your own teeth and not dentures? But talk to your dentist. If you can’t afford a custom made mouth guard maybe your dentist can recommend a temporary solution.

eden2eve's avatar

I agree with all above. A man I know got one of those plates, and it even helped substantially with his sleep apnea. He had a severe case of apnea, and this was a life changing decision for him… might have even been a life saving decision.

Primobabe's avatar

You really do need a custom-made mouth guard. Your dentist can make one for you, but—depending on where you live—expect to pay $300—$600. (Editorial comment – Welcome to the U.S. healthcare “system.”)

GrumpyGram's avatar

I have it from stress. It’s so bad my jaw is sore in the morning . I don’t think I’d be able to sleep with something like that in my mouth but yoga helps a Lot. You can buy a mass produced mouthguard on an online auction for ten bucks. With yoga, you tense your muscles to the point that you’re relaxed so your jaw doesn’t need to tense up during sleep? Not sure how it works. You only have to do it for a few minutes. There are certain people I have to avoid . If I don’t, I get so stressed out it starts up again and I think I need root canals since I get toothaches. Then when I do yoga my teeth are fine.

Merriment's avatar

@GrumpyGramdon’t think I’d be able to sleep with something like that in my mouth

This is why getting a professionally fitted mouth guard is critical. If it is custom molded you won’t even know it’s there. Heck, you can’t even tell I’m wearing mine during the day unless I point it out.

If you are clenching hard enough to make you jaw sore…you may wind up like I did…with teeth that actually “sheared” at the gumline from the enormous pressure. They looked as if I had had them etched down right at the gumline and it was just from the pressure making the enamel crack and break away.

lillycoyote's avatar

@GrumpyGram Also, you get used to them. When I first got mine I would wake up in the morning to find that I had spit the thing out in the middle of the night without realizing it, but after a few days I could wear it all night with no problem.

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