Do you suffer from jaw clenching (otherwise known as bruxism) that is caused by
certain medications? The (kind of) good news is that you are not alone. Many people
have reported that taking certain medications – particularly medications that alter brain
chemistry have caused worsened jaw clenching. Let us take a look at why this is and
what you can do about it.
Prescription medications can have a significant effect on oral health, one of which is
bruxism, or clenching and grinding of teeth. This may be involuntary or related to
alterations in brain chemistry, and can adversely affect all parts of the jaw, including
teeth, muscles, and joints. Prolonged grinding can lead to temporomandibular joint
disorder (TMJ), or worsen pre-existing TMJ symptoms. Therefore, it is important to
closely monitor dental health while taking any prescribed medication.
Which medications cause drug induced bruxism?
Antidepressant use is widely associated with bruxism and can be observed in a
significant percentage of the population: up to 11% (1 in 9) of Americans are on
antidepressants. The most frequent culprits are SSRIs, SNRIs, and lithium medication.
As such, physicians should be aware of the potential side effects antidepressive drugs
have on oral health. SSRIs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are the most
commonly prescribed form of antidepressants and the ones most strongly connected to
bruxism. This class includes Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, and other generic forms. SNRIs
(serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), Effexor, Pristiq, and Cymbalta also have
associated nighttime bruxism risks.
Prescription drugs that affect serotonin levels are the most frequent culprits for causing
bruxism, though dopamine-altering medications can also be a contributing factor.
Dopamine agents like L-Dopa, which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease,
Metoclopramide (Reglan) for easing acid reflux and migraines, and ADHD medication
methylphenidate (Ritalin) can lead to bruxism during waking hours.
How to treat drug induced bruxism?
When it comes to treating drug induced bruxism, one of the most effective methods is
through controlling brain chemistry. Your physician may reduce or adjust your current
prescription, or use a substitute medication. If those don’t work, buspirone (BuSpar)
could be prescribed as an alternative therapy. Studies have found that this method
tends to be successful in calming bruxism symptoms. That being said, there are ways to
treat this condition that don’t include changing your medication. This is where Oralift
How can Oralift help you?
Oralift tackles jaw clenching at the source rather than tackling the symptoms alone. Oralift takes
advantage of the ability of the facial muscles to adapt. This concept is well proven in
orthodontics. Facial muscles are unique and not like any other muscle in the body and can
adapt instantaneously! What is this process of adaptation? The process of adaptation involves a
metabolic or physiologic adjustment within the cell or tissues of an organism in response to an
environmental stimulus resulting in the improved ability of that organism to cope with its
No Chemicals. No Pain. No Surgery.
Get in touch today and say goodbye to jaw pain for good!