If your patients grind their teeth, share with them this information. 

What your patients need to know about bruxism

What your patients need to know about bruxism


OMG Admin

September 15,2021

Due to the pandemic, many dentists are starting to see an increase in stress-related dental problems in patients. The survey conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) found that more than 70 percent of dentists saw an increase in patients experiencing teeth grinding and clenching. 

If your dental office is also seeing this increase, it is important to keep patients informed about how stress impacts the teeth. Our sedation dentistry Overland Park KS team has outlined some information that patients should know about teeth grinding. 

What’s bruxism?

Bruxism is also commonly known as teeth grinding. This condition causes people to grind or clench their teeth unconsciously during the day (awake bruxism) or at night (sleep bruxism). It causes a person to add ten times the normal chewing pressure to their teeth that causes damage. 

The causes of bruxism

Now that the important question “what’s bruxism” has been answered, it is time to learn about the cause. Experts state that the trigger of bruxism varies on the individual. Bruxism may be caused by stress, anxiety, personality, genetics, sleep disorders or even medication.

Experts believe a person’s emotional well-being causes that awake bruxism. It can be triggered by anxiety, stress, anger or tension. Sleep bruxism is believed to be caused by a stressful event or a sleeping disorder like sleep apnea. 

Signs of bruxism 

Here is a list of signs your dental patient can look for that might indicate they have bruxism.

  • Headaches

  • Facial pain 

  • Earaches 

  • Sore jaw

  • Cracked teeth

  • Wear on teeth

  • Clicking or popping in the jaw

How bruxism impacts the teeth

Aside from causing patients discomfort in their mouth and producing noises at night, bruxism damages the teeth by causing cracks. This condition may cause frequent headaches, jaw and tooth pain. Not to mention, if bruxism goes untreated, it may wear down the enamel that leads to tooth decay. 

Bruxism diagnosis and treatment 

If your patient has experienced any of the signs listed above, they should see you. As a dentist, you can look for signs that indicate they have bruxism. One common sign that dentists look for is flattening or cracked teeth. Once the diagnosis has been identified, a dentist can then give the patient an appropriate treatment to manage this condition.

One common treatment that dentists give their patients with bruxism is a nightguard. This device is like a retainer that patients put in their mouths while they sleep. It is important to note that a mouth guard does not stop the grinding but protects the teeth. Other treatment options that address the underlying issue of bruxism include medications, procedures and behavioral strategies. 

If your dental patients do not see you regularly because of anxiety or fear, talk to them about level 1 sedation. This kind of dental sedation is administered through a prescribed medication called anxiolytic. This medication is an anti-anxiety drug known to lessen the symptoms of severe anxiety disorder. 

However, before you can offer level 1 sedation, you need to be certified by a sedation dentistry Overland Park KS educator, like Midwest Sedation Consultants. These institutes offer certification programs that keep you up-to-date with the latest sedation safety. 

Looking for a sedation dentistry Overland Park, KS educator?

Check out our website! We offer level 1 sedation recertification courses that can be completed online on your own time. Plus, these courses are taught by industry professionals. Save your spot for the course today!