It's usually best to see your dentist first, though you also may see your primary care provider if your dentist feels it's necessary. In some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a sleep specialist.
Because appointments can be brief, it's a good idea to be well-prepared.
What you can do
To get ready for your appointment:
- Gather relevant medical records, for instance, if you've been seen for bruxism-related problems in the past.
- Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment. If you experience pain, make a note of when it occurs, such as when you wake up or at the end of the day.
- Make a note of key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or other supplements you're taking and the dosages.
- Prepare questions to ask your doctor or dentist.
For bruxism, some basic questions to ask include:
- What's likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or long-term?
- What's the best treatment?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist? Will my insurance cover that?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor or dentist
Your doctor or dentist is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
July 22, 2014
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
- Teeth grinding. Mouth Healthy. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding. Accessed Jan. 28, 2014.
- Feu D, et al. A systematic review of etiological and risk factors associated with bruxism. Journal of Orthodontics. 2013;40:163.
- Scrivani SJ, et al. Temporomandibular disorders in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 28, 2014.
- Nowak AJ, et al. Oral habits and orofacial development in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 28, 2014.
- What is bruxism? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=w&iid=292&aid=1137. Accessed Jan. 28, 2014.
- Kato T, et al. Sleep less and bite more: Sleep disorders associated with occlusal loads during sleep. Journal of Prosthodontic Research. 2013;57:69.
- Lobbezoo F, et al. Principles for the management of bruxism. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. 2008;35:509.
- Golden, AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 10, 2013.
- Silber MH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 4, 2014.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 17, 2014.