At MK Periodontics and Implants, your doctor will take the time to listen to your needs, educate you about your options, and treat you the way that you want to be treated. We value your experience and comfort as much as providing you with an effective resolution, and we’ve built a culture of care around this approach.
One of our areas of focus is treating patients for bruxism, a condition characterized by the frequent grinding or clenching of the teeth. If you live in the Tacoma region and are experiencing problems with bruxism, it is important to seek treatment sooner than later to prevent long-term tooth damage. Dr. Minou Karbakhsch and Dr. Michi Katafuchi are board-certified periodontists who specialize in these types of conditions, and they welcome the opportunity to provide you with care.
Bruxism and Your Health
Dr. Karbakhsch and Dr. Katafuchi work closely with local dentists to identify and treat bruxism and to help protect their patients’ smiles.
If you have been grinding your teeth, you may already be aware of the damage it can create. Untreated, bruxism can wear down the tooth structure to the point that it causes aesthetic changes. The lower lip may overlap the upper lip, and the jaw may close differently. These changes tend to be more noticeable as patients age, requiring full mouth rehabilitation or tooth restoration procedures.
People who have bruxism also may develop arthritis, chronic pain, migraines, and headaches. By coming to MK Periodontics and Implants for treatment, Tacoma patients can not only protect their teeth but also resolve these symptoms and significantly improve their quality of life.
What You Can Expect With Bruxism Treatment
Our practice offers patients several different approaches to bruxism. All are non-invasive, and we are happy to discuss the benefits and limitations of each technique.
Behavioral therapy is the process of learning how to change common and unwanted actions we sometimes perform unconsciously. With bruxism, for example, a patient might learn how to reposition his or her jaw to limit grinding.
Dr. Karbakhsch and Dr. Katafuchi work with and refer patients to Tacoma physical therapists who are specialized in behavioral modification. With practice, patients can avoid these actions and better protect their smile.
BOTOX® is a well-established neurotoxin medication that prevents targeted muscles from contracting. It has a limited range and period of effect. By injecting a small amount of BOTOX into the muscles that move your jaw, Dr. Karbakhsch and Dr. Katafuchi can reduce the severity of your bruxism.
With this approach, you will receive treatment once every three to six months. Injections take place just below the cheekbone and around the forehead and temples. The majority of our Tacoma patients describe the process as very manageable — particularly compared to their daily discomfort from teeth grinding — and we do everything we can to make the experience as painless as possible.
Head and Neck Treatment
Headaches and a sore neck are common symptoms of bruxism. Fortunately, BOTOX can serve several purposes when it comes to teeth grinding.
BOTOX is approved by the FDA as a treatment to prevent headaches in adults with chronic migraines. The standard definition is a person who has 15 or more days per month with a headache that lasts four or more hours. As with treatment to reduce grinding, patients can expect to receive injections once every three to six months.
MK Periodontics and Implants can prevent damage from bruxism by creating a personalized mouth guard for you. We will take an impression or scan of your bite and send it to one of our dental laboratory partners in Tacoma. Then, the lab will fabricate the guard for you to wear, generally at night. Most people find their guard non-disruptive to their sleep.
Some patients with bruxism also experience problems with sleep apnea and breathing. We can design the mouth guard to serve dual purposes: preventing grinding and opening up the airway. As a result, treatment can both protect your smile and help you breathe more easily.
To find out if this or another approach described above is right for your needs, we encourage you to get in touch with our practice. We’re here to address any questions or concerns you may have to help you feel better as soon as possible.
If bruxism is affecting your oral health and daily comfort, contact MK Periodontics and Implants for an appointment. You can reach us online or by phone at (253) 752-6336 in Tacoma or at our Kirkland office (425) 820-2414.