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February 09 2010

Save Your Smile From Bruxism

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In medicine, unconscious grinding and clenching of teeth is called bruxism. This condition is unintentional and usually happens at night while asleep. Other people experience this condition at any time during the day especially in situations when they are stressed and anxious. In most cases, this condition is mild enough to cause a problem. In more severe cases, this condition can lead to permanent tooth damage even in a short period of time.


Majority of the people who suffer from bruxism are not aware they suffer from this type of dental problem. The most common symptoms of bruxism include painful teeth and jaw especially in the morning, damaged teeth, constant headache, facial pain, ear pain, insomnia, and unexplained cuts on your teeth.

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The exact cause of this condition is not yet known but studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between bruxism and stress. Aditionally, the people who suffer from this condition have other biting habits like biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the inside of the cheeks.

Constant clenching and grinding of teeth can lead to a more serious dental problem like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). If this condition is not treated, this will cause a great deal of pain and suffering. Bruxism can result to insomnia, eating and sleeping disorders if nothing is done to treat the problem.

How to stop doing such unconscious habit? It is necessary to seek the attention of a dental professional to help you get rid of this problem. The Chandler dental facilities will allow you and your dentist to evaluate the extent and severity of bruxism to come up with a treatment plan. At present, there is no single definitive treatment for bruxism, although there are treatment options.

A nightguard or splint is an orthodontic appliance that is provided by your dentist according to your needs to prevent grinding and clenching. There are many types of nightguard or splint available in a dental office and each patient respond differently to the orthodontic appliance. In many reported cases, wearing a nightguard will eliminate the problem. If the condition is still present despite the use of a nightguard, your dentist will discuss to you other options that can be done to address the problem with teeth grinding.

Management of stress and anxiety is another great alternative treatment. Focused facial expression, massage of face and neck muscles, application of warm and cold compress, rest, and proper hydration are included with the treatment plan. Your dentist might also suggest you to see a psychologist to correct any underlying psychological issues related to this unconscious habit. As always, it is best to seek professional help at all times.