Many people in Nungambakkam, Chennai suffer from teeth damage due to bruxism. However, they are not aware of it. They visit their dental hospital in Chennai trying to solve this problem. In this article, we are going to discuss bruxism and how it can be prevented.
So, let us discuss what bruxism is?
Bruxism - What is it?
Bruxism is when you grind your teeth when not chewing. The teeth rub or grind together as the jaw moves forcibly either back and forth or from side to side. Usually, you are not aware that you are doing it.
You can clench or grind your teeth in the day and at night. However, sleep-associated bruxism is more challenging as it is difficult to control. You can visit your dentist in Nungambakkam they will help you determine your condition.
Bruxism may cause temporomandibular joint dysfunction, myofascial muscle pain, and headaches. Severe cases contribute to arthritis of the temporomandibular joints.
Now that you know what bruxism is let us discuss in detail how it can affect you.
Effects of Bruxism
Bruxism includes the clenching or grinding of teeth. Grinding can wear out your teeth, which can become blunt, short, or fractured. Clenching applies pressure on your tissues, muscles, and other structures near the jaw.
It can progress to:
- Stiffness and jaw pain
- Sore gums
- Sensitive, broken or loose teeth
- Popping or clicking of jaw joints
- A dull headache
Earache can happen, partly because the temporomandibular joint structures are near to the ear canal. There may be referral pain in which you feel pain in a different place than the actual source.
Other essential symptoms involve depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and insomnia. If the noise disturbs your sleeping partner, relationship issues may grow.
Extreme bruxism can damage your teeth’ occlusal surfaces, especially the molars. It may lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome as well.
Now that you know how bruxism affects, you let us discuss what causes the condition.
What Causes Bruxism?
Bruxism causes are unclear, yet various factors may be included.
In children, grinding often occurs after the first teeth emerge and again when the permanent teeth appear. It usually stops once your adult teeth wholly come out.
Grinding and clenching usually occur at stressful times, such as anger, concentration, and anxiety.
Bruxism may be associated with an abnormal bite, which means your teeth do not meet properly when your jaw closes. If your bottom and top teeth do not come together correctly, this is known as an occlusal discrepancy. Yes, research has not proven this.
In a few people, the facial muscles spasm while sleeping. Having teeth crooked or missing can make your teeth grind, and irritation may be a factor.
Bruxism can be a side effect of some medicines, involving a few antidepressants, antipsychotics, and amphetamines.
Neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease or Huntington’s disease can cause it. Other factors that may be associated involve alcohol consumption, fatigue, smoking, snoring, and sleep apnea.
Fortunately, bruxism can be cured based on its cause. So, let us understand the treatment for bruxism.
Treatment for Bruxism
Treatment is based on the bruxism cause. Bruxism has no cure, however options are there to relieve symptoms, and an underlying cause can be dealt with.
Therapies and awareness
Daytime grinding or clenching may improve with raised physical therapy, awareness, or exercises. However, nocturnal bruxism requires other strategies, as it is outside your control.
If the underlying issue is sleep apnea or stress, treating such conditions may help. Following treatment, the condition can be reassessed.
Wear a mouth guard at night
You can wear a mouth guard at night to protect your teeth. You can use muscle relaxants for the short term.
Over time, your mouthguard can wear out and lose its effectiveness. If you stop using the mouth guard, symptoms and pain may return. Hence, the solution may not be permanent.
Another choice is splints. Few splints fit on your top teeth, few on the bottom. Based on the design, a splint may hold your jaw in a relaxed position. It gives a barrier so that the splints, instead of your teeth, are damaged. Splints can be replaced or adjusted.
Braces for misaligned jaw
When a misaligned jaw or crooked teeth causes bruxism, your dentist may offer to realign your jaw or fit braces for you to treat the condition. Yet, this is not advised, as misalignment is not proven to be a cause.
Avoid food and drinks with caffeine
Preventing foods and drinks that have high caffeine or alcohol concentrations may be beneficial and raise grinding. Chewing gum may promote bruxism, as it can embed grinding and clenching into your muscle memory.
Now that you know how bruxism can be treated let us discuss how you can prevent the condition.
How to Prevent Bruxism?
Managing anxiety and stress may help decrease or prevent bruxism in you if you are susceptible to it. It is encouraged to have good sleep hygiene, involving a cool, dark, quiet room to sleep in, with no computers, televisions, or other work-associated items.
Most specialists suggest relaxing in the hours before bedtime and having a soothing bedtime routine. For children, this may involve reading a book, a warm bath, or listening to music. Other tips involve sleeping on the side or stomach and doing plenty of exercises.
You might require the assistance of a dental clinic f your condition does not improve. Your dentist can assess your situation and propose a possible solution.