Bruxism – gnashing or clenching of teeth
Bruxism is caused by many factors, the primary one is psychological stress. It usually occurs during adolescence, but can also occur in children. Although there is no fully effective therapy, night guard are most commonly used today.
Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:
- Loud scraping or clenching of teeth
- Teeth of worn surfaces, teeth that are cracked or wobbly
- Pain in jaw, neck or face
- Worn tooth ename
- Increased pain or tooth sensitivity
- Tired or tight jaw muscles or a locked jaw that will not fully open / close
- Pain that appears to be present in the ear
- Headache that begins in the temple
- Damage to the inside of the cheek caused by chewing
- Sleep disorder
Bruxism can occur during sleep or in the waking state.
Nocturnal bruxism is associated with neurotransmitter abnormalities and is associated mainly with the REM phase of sleep. Daily bruxism is caused by hypersensitivity of the central nervous system and there is a conversion of emotional tension into a motor response manifested by increased tone of the masticatory muscles.
Factors influencing the occurrence of bruxism
- Stress: Daily stress, anxiety, anger and frustration can lead to bruxism
- Age: Bruxism occurs during adolescence (11 to 21 years), but can also occur in children
- Personality type: if you have a personality that is aggressive, competitive or hyperactive, the risk of developing bruxism is increased.
- Medications and other substances: Bruxism may be a side effect of some medications such as antidepressants. Consuming tobacco, alcohol, coffee, or using recreational drugs can increase the risk of bruxism.
- Family members with bruxism: Your family members may have bruxism or a medical history.
- Other disorders: Bruxism may be associated with some disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), epilepsy, sleep disorders and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder
Bruxism is a disorder characterized by gnashing and grinding of teeth and / or squeezing of the lower jaw. It is a very common problem and some people are not even aware of the problem due to unexpressed symptoms. About 85% of people gnash their teeth at some point in their lives, but only 5% of them develop clinical symptoms.
Bruxism is most often noticed because of its destructive effect on the teeth, and less often because of the gnashing process itself. I can notice:
- Abrasive veneers, abrasions and other changes on hard dental tissues
- Influence on tooth mobility
- Increased tone and hypertrophy of the masticatory muscles
- Headache and pain in the masticatory muscles
- Changes in temporomandibular joints
How to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism
To alleviate the symptoms caused by bruxism, your dentist will make a splint for you to wear during sleep. A splint is an aid whose effect is best seen in patients who report early, when the changes in the teeth are minimal. Then all damages that could have occurred are prevented. Sponge is a simple therapy that requires the cooperation of the patient because the patient has to wear it every night, and it is worn mostly on the upper jaw. It is made so that the dentist takes a jaw impression and sends it to the laboratory, which makes it based on the impression and can be finished on the first visit. If the effects of bruxism are not stopped, serious dental problems can occur, which become a time and financial burden. Do not wait for the disease to progress. If you notice symptoms of bruxism contact us.