Night has finally arrived, after a long day at work, spending time with family and friends, you are ready to settle in and rest. From here you close your eyes and begin to dream, this happens almost automatically and many of us are not even aware of it. However, this is not the only thing that happens at night and many of us are not aware of; not only do we dream at night, but also we might suffer from a dental disease called: Teeth Grinding or Bruxism.
Oral Health: Bruxism
What is Bruxism?
Most of us grind or clench or grind or teeth every now and then, but when one continuously grind their teeth it can damage them and caused other oral health problems.
Bruxism is a dental condition in which one excessive grinds their teeth or excessively clench their jaw. This is an oral problem can affect 8% ~31% of the general population (based on Barry J. Sessle book: “Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache”). Overall this oral problem causes minimal symptoms and most who suffer from it, are not even aware of it.
Why do you get Bruxism?
There are several reasons why one can get bruxism and doctors still don’t completely understand what causes bruxism, but through research doctors have determine that the following can cause Teeth Grinding:
- Abnormal Bite
- Aggressive Personality
- Crooked Teeth
- Emotions (these include: anger, anxiety, frustration, stress or tension)
- Huntington's disease
- Missing Teeth
- Parkinson's disease
- Side effect of some psychiatric medications (phenothiazine)
- Sleep Apnea
- Stomach acid Reflux
Teeth grinding often occurs during sleep and patients who suffer from this oral problem usually are unaware of it, because of its silent symptoms most learn that they suffer from bruxism because of a love one who hears them grind their teeth.
If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist; not seeking treatment in its early stages can cause your teeth to weaken and wear off. When at the dental office your dentist can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, these signs include: jaw tenderness and excessive wear on your teeth.
In addition, Bruxism can cause teeth to fracture, loosen or loss, it can cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face; the effects can be so severe that teeth are wear down to stumps. These dental stumps are vulnerable to gum disease, tooth decay and other oral infections.
When teeth reached this vulnerable state, your dentist might suggest you one of the following solutions:
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Crowns
- Dental Implants
- Mouth Guard
- Root Canals
- Complete Dentures
- Partial Dentures
After examining your oral cavity, the dentist will offer your several options that will help reduce the pain caused by bruxism. One of the most common and affordable options if fitting you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. If bruxism is caused by stress your dentist might suggest you to visit your family doctor. The family doctor will give you options on how to reduce your stress and might even suggest the affected to attend an exercise program, a stress counseling class and/or seeing a physical therapist.
FACT: At Sani Dental Group, a mouth guard is quick and affordable dental solution, usually ready after 2 hours or less.
Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:
- Avoid alcohol.
- Avoid Chewing Gum (gum allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and to grind your teeth).
- Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.
- Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth.
Here at Sani Dental Group your oral health is our primary concern, our professional dentists know the harmful effects that bruxism can caused and we want to prevent this. If you think that you are suffering from this oral problem, we invite you to visit our dental clinic in Los Algodones.
When at our clinic, you will be received by a friendly staff and during the diagnosis our professional dentists will be able to determine the extent of the damage caused by bruxism and offer you several treatment options. If our dentists suggest a mouth guard, we invite you to visit all the local shops restaurants and cafes available while you wait.
Always remember, your oral health is important and we always want you to have and keep that beautiful smile forever.