Bruxism is the technical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching that abrades teeth and may cause facial pain. People who grind teeth and clench jaw, called bruxers, unintentionally bite down too hard at inappropriate times, such as in their sleep.
Many children and adults grind their teeth unknowingly during their sleep. It can result in chipped, broken and reduced teeth, loose teeth and receding gums.The force of clenching causes stressful pressure on the muscles, tissues and jaw. Jaw disorders, jaw pain, soreness, headaches, earaches, damaged teeth and other problems can result from bruxism.
Bruxism can even affect one’s sleeping partner, as the noise can be loud enough to prevent him or her from getting a good night’s sleep.Nobody knows exactly why some people have bruxism and others don’t. It is most common in small children. And this may have some basis in the tooth losing process.
Bruxism Symptoms: If you develop facial pain, fatigue or other problems, bruxism treatment may be needed. Symptoms of bruxism include:
While the symptoms of bruxism in adults can be treated, the condition usually cannot be cured. The most common treatment for bruxism is a custom occlusal guard worn during sleep. This treatment can both prevent damage to the teeth and minimize tooth grinding behavior.
It is extremely important to treat the condition, as bruxism can actually start destroying the gum tissues and the jaw bones.If you struggle with chronic bruxism, you are exposed to great risks of developing TMJ disorders (temporo-mandibular joint syndrome).
Since it is difficult to know about yourself that you are grinding your teeth (unless someone tells you), a dental checkup can reveal the entire truth.During the checkup, the dentist will look for signs of particularly badly worn teeth, or fractured enamel on the teeth.These are major signs indicating that you are grinding your teeth during the night.
Some other signs linked to bruxism may include pain in certain parts of the face, the neck and headaches.The dentist is the best specialist who can tell you after a checkup if the pain in the face or in the neck actually comes from bruxism.
Certainly, the type of treatment depends on how advanced is the damage done to your teeth. For example if your teeth are very badly worn, the dentist will suggest first reconstructive dental treatments, and then wearing a special silicone customized night guard.
Bruxism is said to be the main issue of the stressed and anxious modern man. You accumulate stress all throughout the day, and then when you are in a relaxed state of mind, your reflexes still “remind” you that you have so many problems.Therefore, managing stress and anxiety properly, will help greatly in the treatment. Try relaxation techniques, a hot bath, reading a book instead of watching TV, regular physical exercise to “exhaust” yourself and get rid of the accumulated stress…
To sum up several types of bruxism treatment:
- Wearing an occlusal guard while sleeping to save from bruxism — Custom-made by your dentist occlusal guard. While a occlusal guard is a good way to manage bruxism, it is not a cure.
- Finding ways to relax to treat bruxism — because everyday stress seems to be a major cause of bruxism, anything that reduces stress can treat bruxism. Also, applying a warm, wet washcloth to the side of your face can help relax muscles sore from clenching.
- Correcting teeth with fillings, crowns or orthodontics — An abnormal bite, one in which teeth do not fit well together, should be corrected.
It’s important to note that the difference between bruxers and non-bruxers is one of degree, not kind. Most people probably grind and clench their teeth now and then, but such behavior does not a bruxer make.
Special Thanks To Worldental.org