If a patient presents with pain and/or tooth wear that can be attributed to bruxism and they tell you that they are stressed, it is a good idea to let them know that making a few simple lifestyle changes can be of significant benefit, including:
• Doing something relaxing before bed, such as yoga, reading or having a bath
• Learning to brush effectively yet gently with a relatively soft toothbrush and a toothpaste low in abrasivity.
Further, prescribing muscle relaxants and the use of a suitable mouthguard, such as a Michigan splint, may prove useful. Such splints help to protect the teeth against bruxism and reduce TMJ pain by encouraging the patient’s mandible to assume the most comfortable and reproducible position. The overall aim with such a guard is to protect against any damage that may be caused by a habitual grinding pattern and to break the cyclical habit, if at all possible.
In addition, recommending care from a physiotherapist or osteopath with specialist knowledge of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) might be appropriate to prevent further damage.
The London Tooth Wear Centre® offers an evidence-based and comprehensive approach to managing tooth wear.
Barker PR is the leading PR and communications agency in dentistry.
A team of talented, passionate and experienced people with a fresh approach to communications, we develop highly valuable strategies for client engagement so we are always connecting you with dentistry.