If You Grind Your Teeth- It May Be Your Meds

These days it seems more and more people are on anxiety medications and/or antidepressants. Would it surprise you to know that usage of these meds has increased by nearly 400% since their introduction in the late 1980’s? Me neither. But did you know some of these medications have been linked to teeth grinding (bruxism)? Bruxism can be a side effect for a specific a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac, Effexor, Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa. If you take one of these drugs and you’ve noticed tension or pain in your jaw, frequent headaches, or clenching and grinding of your teeth, it may be caused by your medication.

Bruxism is the involuntary grinding and clenching of teeth that often occurs while you are asleep. Bruxism can result in frequent headaches, chronic pain of the jaw and face, tooth wear and tooth fracture. SSRIs are known to cause a drug induced bruxism that can be difficult to quell. Some studies suggest drug-induced bruxism sometimes will not go away even after the drug has been discontinued.

Philadelphia restorative dentist, Dr. Pamela Doray, is highly trained and experienced in treating bruxism and other bite disorders. It is important to discuss any medications you are taking with Dr. Doray. A comprehensive health history may help Dr. Doray better diagnose and treat your oral health concerns. Once Dr. Doray has made a diagnosis, she will have suggestions for treatment options. An appliance like a night guard or splint may help ease your sleep bruxism. The proper nighttime appliance can significantly reduce the tension and the stresses on your teeth.

In certain cases a reduction in medication dosage or an alternative medication may reduce your symptoms. Some studies show that other medications like Buspirone may help reduce severe cases of sleep bruxism. If Dr. Doray feels these options could help you, she will consult with you and your physician.

If you are suffering from bruxism triggered by medication, or any bite related discomfort, Dr. Doray offers a variety of dental treatment options. Schedule a consultation with our Philadelphia dental team.