Treatment for Grinding, Clenching, Migraines
Nighttime teeth clenching and grinding are a major problem in America. Many people are not aware that they are doing it until they have symptoms associated with it. Clenching and grinding causes jaw problems, teeth wear and breakage, and even nerve problems in the teeth. Grinding can cause anterior teeth to wear and break necessitating bondings or even crowns. Also grinding can cause back teeth to become flat, weakening the teeth and causing future problems and the need for dental restorations such as crowns. It can also cause pain in your ear or TMJ area and also be a source of migraine headaches.
Grinding and clenching can be brought on by a number of things:
- Certain medications
- Sleep apnea
- Worn teeth
- An unstable bite
- Certain physical ailments such as Parkinson’s and MS
- Weight lifting
At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we make nighttime appliances for our patients using the latest digital technology. Our No-Impressions digital scans allow us to make a precise model digitally without the need for messy, uncomfortable impressions that can make you gag. Then we design and manufacture your appliance in our office digitally, using the latest technology. This process results in a precision-fit appliance that is customized just for you.
Many patients ask us, “Why can’t I just use a nightguard I bought online or from the drugstore?” There are several reasons why these types of generic guards don’t work well:
- Properly designed and manufactured guards generally should not touch the molars.
- The material should be firm and not move when you bite into them.
- The design should allow for only your front teeth to touch when you move to the front and from side to side.
Our goal for our patients who grind and clench their teeth at night is to break the cycle using a night guard and then restore teeth if necessary. AND, because our process is all digital, we can easily make another one for you if you lose or break one!
Migraines and Botox
You may have heard that grinding and clenching can cause migraines. This is absolutely true. If you are a migraine sufferer or if you have a really bad clenching/grinding habit, BOTOX may be for you. Dr. Gilreath uses BOTOX in conjunction with nightguards to break the clenching habit, which will make you clench or grind with less intensity. It can even help break the cycle and prevent you from clenching and grinding altogether. And though Dr. Gilreath doesn’t treat Migraines (since he’s not a neurologist), by using Botox to help you stop grinding and clenching, your headaches, caused as a side effect can greatly improve. In this situation, Dr. Gilreath uses BOTOX to reduce the intensity of muscle contractions. The result is amazing. Less clenching, less grinding, and the side effect of fewer headaches.