Updated: Feb 24
While there are different medical explanations as to why bruxism happens, most experts trace the majority of their clients’ cases back to either a bite imbalance or stress.
When it comes to treatment, most dentists recommend custom-made mouthguards from a dental lab, which have been fitted to the patient's individual bite and create a barrier between the teeth. When patients clench, the mouthguard helps to lighten the tension and give cushion to the muscles in the jaw. This cushioning not only helps to prevent pain to the jaw, but also protects the enamel of the teeth.
That said, we would like to suggest that a well-made mouthguard is only a temporary solution and the underlying reason for the patient's bruxism must also be addressed. Included in this blog are two promising solutions your patients may wish to consider to help manage or eliminate their teeth clenching once and for all.
Myofunctional Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Alter Clenching Habits
For many people, bruxism is a habitual problem. Myofunctional therapy can help patients get control of their clenching habits and stop bruxing before it starts.
In short, myofunctional therapy helps to establish healthy habits during the day including posture and position which can lead to better function and less bruxing at night.
According to Dr. Mercola, in an interview with myofunctional therapist, Joy Moeller, Myofunctional therapy is the “neuromuscular re-education or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles.”
The therapy includes facial and tongue exercises and behavior modification techniques to promote proper tongue position, improved breathing, chewing, and swallowing. Proper head and neck postures are also addressed. There are good studies to substantiate that it may resolve jaw problems and orthodontic relapse working in a multi-disciplinary team.
To learn more about effective treatments for bruxism with Myofunctional therapy, take a look at Dr. Mercola's Interview with Joy Moeller, Oral Myofacial Therapy—A Breakthrough Technique to Treat Symptoms Relating to Breathing Problems, TMJ, Headaches and Other Common Ailments.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of short-term talk therapy that explores the thoughts behind behaviors and feelings. CBT helps patients build healthier habits and thought associations to empower them to let go of negative patterns in their lives. This form of therapy can be make a huge difference when it comes to managing stress and breaking unwanted habits. CBT has the potential to be a good fit for stress-fueled bruxism because it addresses the underlying anxiety that causes bruxism.
For additional information on the link between stress and bruxism and alternative treatments including hypnotherapy, please read What's Worrying You at Hypnotherapy Directory UK.
At SeaBrook Dental Lab, we've made it quick and convenient for you to help your patients stop the damage caused by chronic clenching with Ecofit mouthguards. Ecofits are 100% BPA-free and non-allergenic making them an ideal choice for patients who are also concerned about the materials that go into their mouth. Ecofit mouthguards can be worn day or night depending on severity and need.
Ecofit mouthguards can help protect against the consequences of bruxism, but getting to the root of the problem, as with anything in life, is the surest and safest course.
Ecofit mouthguards come in four colors; pink, blue, green, and clear. Turn around time for dentists is 5-7 lab days.