Teeth clenching is an action that most people perform when stressed, anxious, or afraid. Clenching is typically a physical response to whatever emotion is occurring. It crosses a lot of the same boxes that bruxism does; however, the actual grinding motion does not usually take place. Instead, the upper and lower portions of the jaw are forced against each other, which can lead to discomfort and decay.
Thankfully, both of these results can be avoided with the help of a general dentist. Keep reading to find out what may be recommended when struggling with teeth clenching.
Teeth clenching treatment
Outlined below are a few ways that a general dentist can address and treat teeth clenching. This information may be helpful to individuals who struggle with clenching their upper and lower arches together.
The main thing that a general dentist can do for teeth clenching is to administer an oral appliance. Oral appliances are split into two categories, mouthguards or splints, both of which are known to produce positive results for individuals who clench their teeth.
In the case of mouthguards, the ability for the material to cover the upper and lower arch ensures that the teeth cannot grind up against one another, thus eliminating the damage to the teeth, as well as the discomfort that comes later on. Oral splints, on the other hand, help to reposition the mouth so that anything encouraging teeth clenching is reduced, if not minimized.
Both oral appliances for teeth clenching are custom-made in a dental lab based on impressions made by the general dentist. Impressions are necessary in order to ensure a perfect fit.
Another thing that general dentists may do for individuals that clench their teeth is to prescribe muscle relaxers. This type of medication, when taken in moderation, can have a very positive effect on one's inclination to clench. The muscles in the face and around the jaw are much more able to relax, which reduces the urge to clench.
There are a few avenues when it comes to stress relievers for teeth clenching. For example, in a medical setting, stress relief may look like therapy and/or anti-anxiety medication. As it relates to dentistry, the solutions may be similar; however, it depends on a few factors, including the patient's level of stress, as well as what avenues have already been attempted. Dentists may still recommend therapy, anti-anxiety medications, or even breathing exercises to ease nerves and stress.
Getting started with treatment
When struggling with teeth clenching, it is best to consult with a general dentist. Their expertise in all things relating to the oral cavity makes them the best resource to utilize when trying to find a solution.
To start, an evaluation will be done in order to determine what plan of action is best. Then, any questions or concerns can be appropriately addressed. Lastly, the dentist will put the treatment in place, which may include any of the solutions listed above.
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