Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a pathology that involves unconsciously clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth, causing them to wear out. It can occur both during the day and at night, although in most people, it frequently occurs during sleep. Usually, the affected person is not aware that they have bruxism until someone tells them that they grind their teeth while they sleep, or a dentist discovers signs of habitual teeth grinding during a routine dental check-up.
Although there are different theories about the possible causes of this pathology, the true cause of bruxism is unclear. A large number of experts believe that stress and sleep disorders could trigger bruxism. Other factors believed to cause teeth grinding include a poor diet, improper alignment of the teeth, respiratory disorders during sleep, poor sleeping posture, anxiety, among others.
Thenegative effects of teeth grinding
In addition to dental hypersensitivity and pain in the facial muscles and teeth, bruxism can cause other problems such as:
- Acute hypersensitivity. Bruxism causes the teeth to wear, chip,or break causing toothaches
- The wearing down of teeth causes sensitivity, especially when taking cold/hot drinks or sugarysnacks
- Radiating pain. The discomfort can spread to other areas causing pain in the neck, ear, or headaches
- Insomnia. Dental pain caused by bruxism can lead to difficulties and problems falling asleep
Treatment for bruxism
If bruxism is not addressed in good time, it may lead to serious problems in the teeth and jaw, or cause trismus, a painful condition that hinders or limits the opening of the mouth. In general, there are two types of treatments:
- Occlusal splints. In most cases, especially when it comes to predominantly nocturnal bruxism, the specialist recommends the patient to use a dental splint. This is a prosthesis adjusted to the patient’s teeth, which must be placed during the hours of sleep, and whose function is to try to relax and recognize the jay joint to avoid grinding of the teeth and the consequent wear of the enamel.
- Prosthetic treatment. In cases of more advanced bruxism, in which there is significant dental wear, it is recommended to prosthetically rehabilitate the teeth.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today.Our dentists can diagnose bruxism and prescribe appropriate treatment after assessing the possible underlying physical and psychological causes. We offer various treatments for bruxism aimed at reducing teeth grinding, preventing enamel wear, eliminating pain, and avoiding possible permanent damage to the jaw.