Seeking a Dentist’s Help with Bruxism
Bruxism or teeth grinding and clenching is something a lot of people do on an occasional basis. However, if you grind and clench your teeth on a nightly basis, you may damage your teeth and become susceptible to a few dental issues.
But why do people grind their teeth more often than other people do?
Bruxism is often caused by stress and anxiety, and in some cases, anger and frustration. If your teeth and jaws are not aligned properly, you may also be susceptible to teeth clenching and grinding. Patients who have acid reflux may also succumb to teeth grinding. Some types of medications can also trigger bruxism in some patients. Substances like cigarettes, caffeinated beverages, methamphetamine and ecstasy may all cause bruxism. Finally, bruxism may arise as a complication of Parkinson’s or Huntington disease.
Many patients who regularly grind and clench their teeth are not aware of their problem. More often than not, it is their partners who tell them about their bruxism. However, bruxism may manifest itself through some symptoms. These symptoms include tightness or pain and soreness in the jaw area, dull headaches originating in the temples, soreness in the insides of the cheeks, tooth sensitivity, and worn-out tooth enamel.
If you experience any of these symptoms or if someone alerts you of this problem, it is essential to seek the appropriate treatment for your bruxism. Left unchecked, teeth grinding can sometimes result in the fracturing of teeth or even tooth loss. The constant grinding can wear the teeth down. In more extreme cases, bruxism can affect the jaws and lead to temporomandibular disorders or TMD. Some sufferers may also undergo a noticeable change in their facial structures.
Often, seeking a dentist’s help with bruxism is the best thing that you can do. Most dentists can see signs of bruxism as they evaluate the condition of their patient’s teeth. Your dentist may also inquire about the quality of your sleep as well as your lifestyle, both of which can provide him with a deeper insight about your bruxism. He may also perform diagnostic techniques which help him evaluate your jaw.
Your dentist may recommend a few treatments to remedy your problem. If the cause of your bruxism can be attributed to malocclusion, he may recommend that you use dental braces to correct the underlying cause of the problem.
Some patients may be asked to wear mouth guards which helps protect the teeth and relieve some of the pressure on the jaw.
Finally, if you dentist has noticed considerable damage to your teeth due to bruxism, he may recommend restorative treatments like teeth reshaping and dental crowns.
It is also worthwhile to avoid food and drinks which contain caffeine. Alcohol may also trigger teeth grinding. Also, avoid clenching your teeth during the daytime. That may mean avoiding chewing gum or biting on anything else other than food.