Grinding or clenching of teeth is called Bruxism. Generally, people are unaware that they are grinding their teeth. This condition affects 30 to 40 million adults and kids in US.
‘Sleep related bruxism’ or ‘nocturnal bruxism’ is a condition, where people grit their teeth only when they are asleep. Several people clench teeth even, when they are awake during daytime. It can be due to anxiety or stress. Stress occurs because of several reasons like painful and sad events as well as joyous happenings.
Causes of bruxism
- According to experts bruxism as a habit
- It can be due to body’s retort, when teeth do not come together properly are not aligned suitably
- Can be because of nutritional deficiencies , allergies, pinworm and endocrine disorders (especially in kids)
- It can also be a symptom of rare nerve and muscle facial disease
- Bruxism can also be a side effect of specific medications that treat depression (rare cases)
Severe bruxism is capable of damaging teeth or break dental fillings. Rubbing of teeth together causes the enamel’s outer layer to wear off and dentin gets exposed. It can source tooth sensitivity. Rigorous bruxism is also responsible for –
- TMD or temporomandibular disorders of jaw dysfunction
- Inexplicable facial pain
- Headaches in the morning even after a good night sleep
Symptoms of a bruxer
- Rhythmic contractions of jaw muscles
- Dull morning headache
- Grinding sound at night that disturbs the one sharing the same bedroom with you
- Jaw muscles tightens making it uncomfortable and agonizing to widely open your mouth, especially at dawn
- Injured gums, broken dental fillings and damaged teeth
- Long lasting facial pain
- Painful jaw joint
- Clenching causes occasional swelling on lower jaw (jaw muscles grow large due to repeated clenching exercise. As soon as you stop grinding, muscles shrink and swelling disappears
Diagnosis of bruxism
People suffering from any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above need to contact their dentist. They are in the best position to decide, if you are bruxer or not and even the best way to treat it.
If you dwell around Texas then visit Fort Worth dentist clinic because the doctors there give first priority to patients comfort. The experienced dentist at the facility not just thoroughly check your mouth and teeth but ask questions related to your stress, sleeping habits, talk with the one sharing your bedroom.
The dentist will feel the jaw muscles and joints for tenderness. Moreover, check the teeth for grinding evidence like missing teeth, broken teeth, as well as poor tooth alignment.
If the dentist suspects bruxism to be due to dental issues then your ‘bite’ will be checked. If needed X-rays of jaw and teeth may be taken.
Grinding teeth is highest in kids below age five. Children are believed to grind teeth severely in two scenarios, when their baby teeth appear or when permanent teeth emerge. Majority of kids overcome this habit fully, after both these phase.
In kids, this condition appears automatically by 13 years. On the other hand in teens and adults bruxism duration depends on the reason. If it is stress related then it can last for decades. If it is due to dental issue then having teeth realigned or repaired can solve teeth grinding concern.
Professional counseling will be helpful, if bruxism is stress-related. You can also try some things to keep you feel relaxed like lessening stimulants like caffeine and tobacco. Moreover, try stretching exercises and massage to unwind the muscles.
Bruxism can be avoided in adults and children. Traditional way is to wear night-bite plate or bite splint. Wearing dental appliance at night helps to relieve jaw joints and facial muscle pressure. Hot compresses applied to facial muscles can help to reduce tightness and muscle pain, due to bruxism.
Ensure to drink lots of liquid because dehydration can be associated with teeth grinding.
Mark Rutherford has written this article. H. Peter Ku is rated as the number one Fort Worth dentist. They also allow you to book for an appointment to visit their clinic, just by filling out a simple online forum. Visit their website for more information.