Do you clench or grind your teeth?
Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity that commonly occurs in most people at some point in their lives. The two main characteristics of this condition are grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaws. These actions usually occur during a person’s sleeping hours, but they also occur during the day. Many of us are unaware that we have this problem.
Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders. Chewing is a neuromuscular activity controlled by a subconscious process, but more highly controlled by the brain. During sleep, the subconscious process may become active, while the higher control is inactive (asleep), resulting in bruxism. The most common symptoms are headaches, muscle pain or tightness, and transient cold sensitivity of the teeth.
Why should I seek treatment?
- Bruxism. This can cause breakage and tooth loss and can increase bone loss around your teeth. Grinding can lead to loose teeth and bone loss.
- Facial pain. Grinding can lead to muscle pain and in some cases, incapacitating headaches.
- Occlusal trauma. The abnormal wear patterns on the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of the teeth can lead to fractures, which, if left untreated, may require restorative treatment at or may necessitate removal of the tooth.
Though there is no known cure for bruxism, however mouthguards available through our office can help treat the symptoms and reduce the stress on teeth, joints and muscles:
- Mouthguards. A hard acrylic upper mouthguard that covers all your upper teeth can be designed from teeth impressions. They minimize the abrasive grinding action during normal sleep. Mouthguards (night guards) must be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage.
- Bite adjustment