Know About Bruxism

Bruxism is grinding of teeth and clenching of jaw without knowledge of the affected individual. Bruxism is quite common fortunately for majority of individuals it is mild in nature and do not cause any health problem. But in some people it does lead to medical problem and need to be treated. Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity and can occur during day time or night time (nocturnal) during sleep. It is the nocturnal bruxism that cause majority of health problem due to bruxism. Bruxism is one of the commonest sleep disorders.

What are the causes of bruxism?

The exact cause of bruxism is not clear, but most experts suggest that it may be due to psychological stress. Bruxism depends on various factors (risk factors) such as your ability to relax, sleeping habit, posture, diet, duration of clenching of teeth, malalignment of teeth etc.

What are the signs and symptoms of bruxism?

Clenching teeth may put pressure (sometimes heavy pressure) on teeth, muscles and jaw, which may lead to problem in the temporomandibular joint (joint between upper and lower jaw). Grnding may lead to wear and tear of teeth enamel. It may also be loud enough to disturb sleeping partner.

Symptoms of bruxism are:

  • Anxiety, depression,
  • Tension, stress
  • Earache, tinnitus
  • Loose teeth, worn out teeth (enamel), sensitive (to cold, hot or sweet) tooth.
  • Headache, migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Painful jaw
  • Neck pain
  • Gum disorders
  • Eating disorders

Treatment of bruxism:

The aim of treatment of bruxism is to reduce pain, prevent permanent damage of the teeth and to prevent grinding and clenching. There are various methods of treatment of bruxism. If diagnosis of bruxism can be done early and the cause found, elimination of cause can potentially cure bruxism. If bruxism becomes a habit (habitual bruxism), it can be managed by habit modification. Treat associated causes for better result. Bruxism can also be managed symptomatically by your dentist by use of mouth guard for grinding teeth.

  • Application of ice or wet heat to sore muscles can reduce soreness.
  • Do not eat hot, sweet, hard foods such as nuts, candies
  • Sleep well
  • Drink plenty of water/liquid
  • Physiotherapy of sore muscles and temporomandibular joint can be of great help.
  • Stress is a major cause of bruxism, learn relaxation techniques and reduce stress.
  • Use dental guards such as mouth guard for grinding teeth, to reduce injury and wear and tear of teeth.

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