Many people grind and clench their teeth and don't even realize that they are doing it. However, when you clench or grind your teeth repetitively, it will inevitably cause severe long-term damage to your tooth enamel that can result in the loss or chipping of a tooth.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is an official term for a condition related to involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth when you are awake and asleep. Bruxism is a serious disorder that takes a severe toll on not only your teeth but could also be taxing on your overall health. For example, people diagnosed with bruxism have reported symptoms such as headaches, jaw disorders, and severe pain. Some even suffer from headaches and lockjaw.
Don't let bruxism hold you back! Let's learn all about bruxism and the best way to treat it.
Causes of Bruxism
Everybody is different, and while some people report having symptoms, others do not. Therefore, bruxism and the treatment thereof are dependent upon the severity of the bruxism case.
There is no definite cause as to why bruxism occurs, but there are factors that trigger or exacerbate the symptoms present as a result of bruxism. Some of these factors are listed below:
- Age: It is prevalent to find young children with bruxism, and while some do grow out of it, if left untreated, the result could lead to highly damaged teeth.
- Stress: Many people have said that they clench their teeth in situations where they feel high-stress levels, anxiety, and even anger.
- Medication Side Effect: Certain medications can result in the side effect of developing bruxism.
- Family History: If you have been diagnosed with bruxism, it is not uncommon to find that other family members may have also suffered from it.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Everybody is different, and while some people report having symptoms, others do not. Therefore, bruxism and teeth grinding treatment are dependent upon the severity of the bruxism case.
The signs and symptoms of bruxism include the following:
- Grinding, clenching or even gnashing your teeth without being aware that you are doing it.
- Chipped, loose, flattened, or even fractured teeth.
- Teeth that have worn enamel, leaving your tooth's deeper levels exposed and giving you heightened levels of sensitivity.
- Having a jaw that does not open or closes properly. Your jaw could even have tight or tired muscles that result in a locked jaw.
- Jaw pain that radiates and extends into your face and neck.
If you find that you are suffering from a sore jaw or one or more of these conditions, it is possible that you have bruxism. Your dentist will be able to check if you do have bruxism at your regular check-up appointments.
There is an array of treatments you can choose from to help treat bruxism. However, the treatment you may need is ultimately dependent on how severe your case of bruxism is.
For example, if you have been diagnosed with a low to a mild case of bruxism, it is likely that you will grow out of it and will, in all likelihood, not require any further treatment. However, every person is different, and your case of bruxism may require another treatment method.
If you want to know how to stop grinding your teeth while sleeping, you may want to consider some behavioral changes, like:
- Eliminating or reducing food and drinks that contain caffeine
- Not chewing on pencils, pens or anything that's not food
- Not chewing gum, since gum chewing can train your jaws to clench
- Relaxing your jaw muscles at night — holding a warm washcloth in front of your ear lobe against your cheek can help
The methods below have been used as effective teeth grinding treatments:
- Dental Treatments
Medication for Bruxism Treatment
Since there is no current cure for bruxism, medication can only aid in treating the symptoms that arise from having bruxism. For example, doctors may give the following medicines:
- Muscle relaxant
- Anxiety and stress medication
Dental Treatments for Bruxism
Dental treatments are geared towards protecting and preserving your teeth and are the best course of treatment for cases of bruxism. Dental treatments include:
- Dental correction
- Dental Splints
- Mouth guards
Bruxism has no cure and is a condition that many live with. The best way to prevent teeth clenching and the resulting damage would be to wear a customized mouth guard for teeth grinding.
The Best Dental Guard for Bruxism
If left untreated, bruxism could not only lead to more severe conditions, but it can also have a significant impact on your wallet. The best way to avoid this would be to have an affordable mouth guard custom-made for you.
With just four easy steps, you can avoid hours of pain and get a mouth guard made directly in our dental lab. Choose between a soft, hard, or a hybrid mouth guard. We have options to suit all needs.
So why not avoid the added cost and anxiety of having to sit in a dentist's surgery and have your custom-made mouth guard sent directly to your doorstep! Contact us for more information!