Antidepressants and Teeth Grinding

Antidepressants and Teeth Grinding

Martyna Bobek LSW, CTP
7 minute read

Antidepressants and teeth grinding? Just as treatments for your dental health can impact your physical health, other medical treatments can have a profound effect on your oral health.  For example, specific prescriptions, specifically SSRIs and even some SSNRIs (Selective Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), may lead to severe bruxism, clenching, and grinding teeth. These medications alter the brain chemistry and can cause you to clench your jaw involuntarily.

antidepressants teeth grinding

WHAT IS BRUXISM

Bruxism is a repetitive movement disorder where a person regularly grinds, clenches, or gnashes their teeth using their jaw muscles. Bruxism can involve all of your teeth or only the front teeth. It can also include symptoms ranging from headaches to facial pain to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

There are two types of bruxism, and their symptoms and causes can differ:

Awake bruxism (AB), also known as diurnal bruxism, occurs when people are awake, and symptoms often worsen as the day progresses. It is more common in women.

Sleep bruxism (SB), also known as nocturnal bruxism, occurs during the night, and symptoms are often worse when a person first wakes up.

How are teeth grinding and antidepressants related?

Antidepressant teeth grinding causes most cases of bruxism related to medications. That's mainly because antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the country, with nearly 11% of Americans (about 1 in 9) taking them. In a case study by JADA, the Journal of American Dental Association it is stated that "On the basis of this case and the available literature, the authors conclude that bruxism secondary to antidepressant therapy may be common. Thus dentists should inquire about the use of these medications in patients who have bruxism".

SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that are most commonly used antidepressants and strongly associated with bruxism  typically include: 

  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft

Amongst others, including generic forms. SNRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, are also associated with nighttime bruxism. These typically include:

  • Effexor
  • Pristiq
  • Cymbalta

Sometimes, a change in your prescription could be all you need to resolve the condition. Other people, however, may need more help. These measures can include anything from stress management strategies (as people tend to grind their teeth more when they're nervous or under pressure) or wearing a custom teeth mouth guard when they sleep.

Patients taking antidepressant medications may experience an increased amount of the following symptoms:

  • HeadachesJaw pain
  • Sleepiness or fatigue throughout the day
  • Neck pain
  • Other symptoms of clenching/grinding such as damaged teeth or dental work

According to a recent study, you may experience or start to notice these symptoms shortly after starting antidepressant medication. In some cases, a change in medication or a decrease in the dosage with the help of the prescribing medical doctor can help. However, sometimes there's little to no effect.

Fortunately, if changing your prescription doesn't control symptoms of bruxism / antidepressant teeth grinding, you can manage the condition and ultimately reduce damage caused by using a custom-made teeth grinding mouth guard .

Using a mouth guard can also assist in protecting from damage due to antidepressant teeth grinding and clenching. It is designed with opposing grooves to help secure a natural resting bite and reduce damage as much as possible as you sleep.

Teeth Can be protected from antidepressants teeth grinding by wearing a custom made teeth grinding guard.

teeth grinding dental mouth guard

Here are a few other ways teeth night guards work to protect your teeth:

Prevent damage to your teeth by protecting enamel.

The most visible benefit of wearing a dental night guard is that it protects your tooth enamel. Left unchecked, teeth grinding and clenching will ultimately result in worn-down protective enamel. This could lead to cavities, severe sensitivity, fracturing, and damage to existing teeth restorations.

Exposing your enamel to constant grinding can deteriorate the enamel to the point of exposing the pulp, which contains the nerves and blood vessels of your teeth. This will not only weaken the strength of your teeth but also cause a significant amount of pain.

However, wearing a custom-fit night guard when you go to bed can prevent future pain and costly complications. If and when your night guard deteriorates (typically between one to five years), you can get a replacement — whereas replacing your teeth isn't so simple.

Prevents TMJ dysfunction.

Bruxism is one of the multiple factors that can cause or contribute to TMJ.TMJ disorders affect the muscles you use to chew, as well as the joint itself, alongside the associated tendons and ligaments.

A night guard can help deter TMJ disorders from happening. Compared to the cost of a teeth night guard, treatment for TMJ disorders are considerably more expensive and complex.

Provides relief from pain, tension, and headaches.

Because clenching your teeth throughout the night places a lot of stress on your jaw, you may experience various levels of jaw pain. This jaw pain can eventually lead to you having ongoing headaches, sometimes migraines, and disrupt your day-to-day functioning.

A custom night guard can protect your teeth while you sleep and works to reduce any stress and tension on your muscles, joints, and teeth. When used regularly, you'll notice experiencing less temporal headaches and overall pain associated with them.

Improves the quality of your sleep.

When you're relaxed and pain-free, it's undoubtedly easier to sleep.  A night guard will take the brunt of the force of clenching, as they're made to keep your muscles as relaxed as possible during sleep.Providing a protective barrier between your teeth significantly reduces stress and tension in your jaw and facial muscles. It can also help reduce the pain and discomfort in your neck, mouth, and head.

The consistent use of teeth-grinding night guards will provide you with the relief needed to regain healthy sleeping patterns.

Why are custom teeth mouth guards the best option?

To get an exact fit, mouth guards are made from an impression of your teeth and jaw. They're also made from durable material, making them the best safeguard for treating bruxism.

antidepressants teeth grinding mouth guard

Choosing the right teeth grinding mouth guard

A proper, customized fit is essential for your night guard to be efficient in treating your bruxism symptoms, so here are a few tips to help you choose the correct teeth night guard.

Custom-fit. Your custom mouth guard should firmly fit around your teeth while not causing any pressure or discomfort. If fit correctly, it will ensure that your mouth guard stays in while you're sleeping and only comes off when you want to remove it.

Comfort. People using guards for bruxism should have one that enables them to talk and breathe comfortably, without any difficulty.

Durability. Choosing a high-quality material that will last longer than any over-the-counter ones will lower any future costs, as you'll need fewer replacements. The decision on which material best suits your needs should be determined by how severe your bruxism is.

Ready to protect your teeth from bruxism?

The fact that teeth clenching can cause a lot of damage to your teeth and your overall oral health makes it essential for you to find a solution to put an end to your clenching. If you're interested in learning more about how a dental night guard can help you, contact us today.

teeth grinding mouth guard and antidepressants

 

Sources

https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(15)60346-4/pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5914744/

​​https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356100

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tmj/symptoms-causes/syc-20350941

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea

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