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How should I prepare for an appointment about teeth grinding (bruxism)?

If you suspect you are grinding your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist can diagnose bruxism by looking for unusual wear spots on your teeth and assessing related symptoms. He or she can also help you manage your bruxism and its related symptoms, as well as repair and help prevent further damage to your teeth.

Also, make sure to let your dentist know if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • headache
  • sore jaw
  • frequent toothaches
  • facial pain
  • worn or cracked teeth or fillings
  • loose teeth
  • earache
  • insomnia

Your dentist may also suggest wearing a night guard while you sleep to prevent further damage to your teeth.

 

When you make an appointment to see a dentist or doctor about bruxism (teeth grinding), it's a good idea to write down any questions you have about bruxism so you can ask about your concerns and get answers.

You may also be referred to a sleep specialist, a doctor who diagnoses and treats problems associated with sleep. Be prepared to see another doctor as part of the procedure for diagnosing bruxism.

The day of the appointment, put all of your medications and natural dietary supplements/vitamins in a small bag to show the doctor. Make sure to remember  problems you've had recently that have caused you emotional stress, which is a trigger for teeth grinding.

When you see the doctor be sure to talk openly about your lifestyle habits and stressors. Your doctor may be able to help you figure out the cause of the bruxism and how best to treat it. If not, the doctor may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy) and/or an anti-anxiety medication to help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress at bedtime.

You likely will be visiting with your dentist for a diagnosis. To prepare for your appointment, write down any symptoms you have been experiencing and note any major life changes. Write down the medications you are taking and questions you want to ask your dentist. Be aware that the dentist may perform additional tests or examinations to rule out other causes before making a diagnosis for bruxism.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.