Treating Bruxism With An Oral Appliance

des moines bruxismWhen you have aches in your teeth or chronic headaches, this could be linked to the onset of bruxism. This is a term for chronic teeth grinding and clenching. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist talks about how to recognize bruxism, and how we treat it with a custom oral appliance.

The Causes of Teeth Grinding

Why do we grind our teeth nightly? This could be brought on by a number of factors. For example, high levels of stress could be a factor, as could untreated TMJ disorder. For others, tooth loss, injury to the face or jaw, improper bite balance, dental misalignment, and even complications with the growth of the smile could be possible causes. As part of your treatment, we will diagnose the cause of your bruxism, as this helps us select the most appropriate treatment option to bring you relief.

The Dangers for Your Teeth

The pressure on your teeth could wear them down so they appear short or uneven, and this could also crack or chip the teeth. Damaged and worn-down teeth expose the sensitive inner dentin to bacteria, allowing tooth decay and even dental infection developing. This could mean serious discomfort and without treatment, the risk of losing teeth! Which is why when you experience symptoms, we want to see you right away. Common symptoms include headaches, migraines, toothaches, tooth sensitivity, and aches in the neck and shoulders. If one or more apply to you, then let us know right away!

Treatment with an Oral Appliance

For some, we could offer treatment with braces or aligners to correct misalignment and improve bite balance. We could also correct imbalance with the placement of a dental crown, or even bonding and contouring. But the most common solution is a comfortable and noninvasive one. We will first take detailed digital images of your smile from multiple angles, and combine them to create a 3D impression. We use this to design and fabricate an oral appliance, which is worn at night like a mouthguard. The device helps reposition the jaw to ease strain and correct the causes of your bruxism or TMD. This also puts a barrier between the teeth to prevent further damage to them.

If you have any questions about how to diagnose and treat bruxism, then contact our team today to get started. In addition, you can see us now and use your 2022 dental benefits before they expire at the end of the year.


Our team wants to help you enjoy good oral health and avoid damage to the teeth. If you have any questions about protecting your teeth, then contact your Des Moines, IA, dentist, Dr. Burds, by calling 515-244-9565.