How can braces help to reduce bruxism?

Doctor's Answers (2)

Bruxism is characterised by grinding and clenching of teeth predominantly during sleep and occurs in about 31% of adults.

In a recent review paper, bruxism's physiology and pathology have unknown causal associated factors, meaning that no one really knows for sure why it happens in some individuals and not all individuals who have bruxism will develop worn teeth,cracked teeth or undesirable teeth damage.

The current available treatment involves managing the signs and symptoms associated with bruxism rather than treat the cause of bruxism which is accepted to be controlled by the central and autonomic nervous system.

Some of the common methods of treating the signs and symptoms associated with bruxism include:

  • night stabilisation splint
  • drug therapy
  • intramuscular injections and
  • physiotherapy

As bruxism is a subconscious activity that occurs during sleep, braces is unable to help reduce this. However if someone presents with severe wear facets only on some teeth, this may suggest an uneven bite or a malocclusion where some teeth are taking more load then others e.g an anterior open bite.

In such situations, braces can help by improving the occlusion and thus enabling more even load distribution. 

Hope this helps and all the very best, 

Dr Priscilla Lu

Orthodontist 

Dr Jaclyn Toh
5.0

"Dentist with an interest in comprehensive dentistry."

At the moment, there is no compelling evidence that orthodontic treatment should be pursued as a cure for bruxism.

In some patients with a narrow airway, arch expansion which happens naturally with most forms of orthodontic treatment may improve bruxism related to airway resistance syndrome. However, you will need a sleep test to confirm if this is the condition you are facing.

Some patients are just programmed for bruxism, no matter what treatment is pursued. Preventing damage to the teeth by wearing a bite guard or retainers at night is still the most common and effective way to manage chronic bruxism.

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