Are You Suffering From Bruxism?
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a common oral condition that most people will experience in their lives. The main two characteristics of the condition are teeth grinding and clenching the jaw. Bruxism is a common sleeping disorder which causes most of its damage during sleeping hours, but may also occur during the day when stressed. If teeth grinding occurs regularly, the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Bruxism?
- Aching or clicking jaw
- Excessive tooth wear
- Gum recession
- Fractured and broken teeth
- Loose or mobile teeth
- Jaw pain
- Myofascial pain.
Why do people grind their teeth?
Studies have found a link between bruxism and sleep disorders, anxiety and stress. Grinding of the teeth can also be associated with obstructive sleep apnoea, the most common form of which is OSA. This condition usually causes interrupted breathing during sleep and so, therefore, lead to several other sleep problems. Bruxism can also be related to an unhealthy lifestyle. For example, low diet, smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, caffeine and even excessive use of chewing gum can increase the risk of developing the condition.
Why is it essential to tackle Bruxism?
This type of medical condition frequently goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. This is because it is only one of a range of potential causes of tooth wear. It takes a trained professional to be able to distinguish between wear from over-brushing and that caused by bruxism.
Factors which can influence whether you experience pain or other problems will vary from case to case. They may include:
- Levels of stress
- Whether your teeth are misaligned
- Duration and intensity of jaw clenching/teeth grinding
- Your ability to relax
- Sleeping habits.
It is essential to tackle bruxism because of:
- Damage to teeth: bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum recession and tooth loss; it damages the soft tissue and leads to loose teeth and deep pockets.
- Occlusal trauma: the excessive wear of the occlusal surfaces of the teeth from prolonged bruxing can not only damage the teeth. Still, it may also shift the entire jaw and affect your ability to eat and speak, and even change your facial appearance.
- Facial pain: the grinding associated with bruxism can eventually blunt and shorten teeth which leads to muscle pain and debilitating headaches in the myofascial region.
- Arthritis: in severe cases, bruxism can lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular joints (which are responsible for the jaw being able to open smoothly).
Find out what kind of treatment options, such as mouth guards and muscle relaxation we have available for controlling and managing teeth grinding problems.
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