Treating Bruxism in Las Vegas, NV

If you’re experiencing problems related to bruxism, turn to the experts at Radiant Smiles for help. As an award-winning dental practice, we can help you with all your dental needs. We have a sterling reputation for treating patients throughout Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding areas with dental problems such as bruxism.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism refers to an oral parafunctional activity that occurs in most people at some point in their lives.  Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders and causes most of its damage during sleeping hours.  The clenching and grinding that accompanies bruxism is symptomatic of a malfunctioning chewing reflex, which is turned off in non-sufferers when sleeping.  For sufferers, deep sleep or even naps, cause the reflex nerve control center in the brain to turn off, and the reflex pathways to become active.

Damages Caused by Bruxism

Typically, the incisors and canines (front 6 upper and lower teeth) of opposing arches grind against each other laterally.  This side-to-side action puts undue strain on the medial pterygoid muscles and the temporomandibular joints.  Earache, depression, headaches, eating disorders, and anxiety are among the most common symptoms of bruxism, which often accompanies chronic stress, Alzheimer’s disease, and alcohol abuse.

The Troubles of Diagnosing Bruxism

Bruxism is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, because it is only one of several potential causes of tooth wear.  Only a trained professional can tell the difference between bruxing wear and wear caused by overly aggressive brushing, acidic soft drinks, and abrasive foods.

A BiteStrip® is an economical device used to diagnose bruxism at home.  The device itself is a small electromyography that senses and monitors any activity in the jaw muscles during sleep.  The frequency and severity of the condition can then be assessed, and the best treatment plan can be formulated.

Why Bruxism Needs to be Treated

Here are some of the main reasons why bruxism should be promptly treated:

  • Gum recession and tooth loss– Bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum recession and tooth loss; firstly, because it damages the soft tissue directly, and secondly because it leads to loose teeth and deep pockets where bacteria can colonize and destroy the supporting bone.
  • Occlusal trauma– The abnormal wear patterns on the occlusal (chewing) surfaces can lead to fractures in the teeth, which may require restorative treatment.
  • Arthritis– In severe and chronic cases, bruxing can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints (the joints that allow the jaw to open smoothly).
  • Myofascial pain– The grinding associated with bruxism can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth.  This can lead to muscle pain in the myofascial region and debilitating headaches.

Treatment Options for Bruxism

There is no single cure for bruxism, though a variety of helpful devices and tools are available.  Here are some common ways in which bruxism is treated:

  • Mouthguards– An acrylic mouthguard can be designed from tooth impressions to minimize the abrasive action of tooth surfaces during normal sleep.  Mouthguards should be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage, and damage to the temporomandibular joint and help to stabilize the occlusion.
  • NTI-tss device– This device is fitted by a health professional and only covers the front teeth.  The goal of the NTI-tss is to prevent the grinding of the rear molars by limiting the contraction of the temporalis muscle.
  • Botox®– Botox® can be injected into the muscles to relax and weaken them.  Botox® is an excellent treatment for bruxism because it weakens the muscles enough to prevent the grinding, but not enough to interfere with everyday functions like chewing and speaking.

Other methods of treatment include periodontics therapy, relaxation exercises, stress management education, and biofeedback mechanisms.  When bruxing is under control, there are a variety of dental procedures such as crowns, gum grafts, and crown lengthening that can restore a pleasant aesthetic appearance to the smile.

Contact Radiant Smiles

To learn more about bruxism and how it is treated, contact Radiant Smiles near Las Vegas, NV, today.

Read What Our Patients Have to Say

Radiant Smiles is known throughout Las Vegas, NV, for providing exceptional care to patients of all ages. Read reviews from our happy patients below, then schedule an appointment today to learn more about our professional dental services.

“This is by far the one of the best dentist office’s I’ve been too and they are now my family’s dentist home. They do their best to help you in anyway they can and it’s much appreciated. Everyone is very welcoming. Clean environment is a must and they are always clean. Definitely recommend.”

Quan D.

“Everyone was kind, attentive, assuring from the front office to the back. Matt with financing explained everything very well. The assistance that took X-rays amazing! The Dr quick, clear. Concise and friendly! Love it!”

Kimi P.

“My experience at radiant smiles was lovely. The staff was friendly and helpful, and got me checked in and seen by my doctor in a quick and efficient manner. The office is beautiful and clean and everyone is very attentive to the guests that enter. The whole experience was great and easy!”

Morgan H.

Meet Our Doctors

The Radiant Smiles team is led by professional dentists who are at the forefront of their fields. With their expertise and our state-of-the-art equipment, we are the go-to dentist office for quality and compassionate dental care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.