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July 23 2010

How to Deal With Clenching of the Teeth

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism can be defined as the grinding and clenching of our teeth. People who experience this are often not aware of this. Many people who suffer from Bruxism are not aware that they suffer from it. Bruxism affects almost 30 to 40 million children and adults in the US

Some children and adults only suffer from bruxism at night, grinding their teeth during their sleep. Some others might have this involuntary practice of teeth grinding even in the day.

Wearing a bruxism mouthguard is one of the best ways to prevent the grinding of teeth during the night. A mouth guard for bruxism is a wonderful tool for anyone who grinds their teeth at night.

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Bruxism is often related with anxiety and stress, while some experts believe that bruxism is just a habit and nothing more than that.

Symptoms of Bruxism

Are you a bruxer? Read the follow symptoms of bruxism and see if they apply to you.

  • Rhythmic tightening of your jaw muscles.
  • Grinding sounds during sleep.
  • An unexplained headache in the morning.
  • Pain in the jaw upon awakening.
  • Long lasting facial pain.
  • Damaged teeth, breaking of dental fillings, injured gums.
  • Pain in the jaw joints.

How to Diagnosis Bruxism

If you have been experiencing any of the above mentioned dental problems, please see a dentist right away. A dentist will be in the best position to determine if you are a teeth grinder and will suggest necessary steps after evaluating you.

An even detailed examination might be needed if the dentist suspects any dental problems to be the primary cause of your bruxism. Additionally, your dentist will also examine your gums and teeth to locate any damage caused by teeth grinding, other than just examining your “bite”. A series of x-rays of the mouth will be needed to determine the intensity of the disease and the method of treatment.

Teeth Grinding Treatment

The treatment of Bruxism is highly dependent on the cause of the disease and as such it varies:

  • Bruxism due to stress: If your case is that of bruxism caused by stress and anxiety, your dentist will recommend either a professional counseling, psychotherapy or bio-feedback for treatment. Other strategies of treating bruxism include relaxation and meditation. You may also be given a prescribed muscle relaxant in order to prevent the spasm that occurs in the jaw. If this fails to help you, your dentist might refer an oral dental surgeon for further specialized treatment.
  • Dental Problems: If you bruxism is caused by dental problems, then you may need a tooth alignment This will be done by your dentist. In case of severe dental problems, you may also need to wear crowns or onlays to reshape those bitten surfaces of the teeth, entirely. You may also be asked by dentist to wear a bite splint or a Mouth piece. This will help to prevent further damage to your teeth and may also help in the realigning of your teeth and jaw muscles.
  • Drugs: If the cause of your teeth grinding is an after effect of  medicine, such as antidepressants, you can talk to your doctor and get your medicationmedicine stopped or changed.

Regardless of what the cause of your bruxism is, one of the best ways to deal with bruxism is to get a bruxism mouth guard.