Causes of Bruxism
Teeth grinding (bruxism) and clenching is a very common problem that affects most people at one point or another. There are many causes of bruxism, with the most common cause believed to be stress.
Bruxism often occurs in sleep exacerbated by sleep-related conditions such as snoring, sleep paralysis, night terrors, sleep apnea etc. However, wake bruxism can occur from medication use (high caffeine), anxiety and, depression.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Bruxism can wear down your teeth which result in pain and sensitivity due to exposed dentine. As teeth play a large role in maintaining facial profile, a loss of tooth structure would change one’s appearance due to the loss of vertical dimension. Apart from teeth, pain can result from the pressure applied to the jaw resulting in headaches and muscle soreness.
It is also common for babies and young children who are developing their adult teeth to grind their teeth (often in their sleep), but often grow out of it.
Treatment of Bruxism
If a friend or family member complains of the noise you are making from teeth grinding during sleep, then they have aided in identifying the problem! Although there are no ground breaking drugs that can cure bruxism, we can take some simple steps in preventing the symptoms.
- Protect your teeth – Your dentist can have you fitted with a mouth guard to be worn at night to protect your teeth from any grinding that may occur while you sleep- so rather than grinding your teeth away, you’d be grinding away plastic.
- Stress and Anxiety related – Steps taken to manage these psychological issues will obviously benefit you in more ways than ceasing sleep Bruxism. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you muscle relaxants.
- If tremors and day-time bruxism is seen, then it may be worth while to consider cutting down or avoiding high-caffeine intake in the form of Coffee, chocolate and Cola drinks
- Be more conscious about Bruxism. Placing your tongue between your teeth will actually help you to relax your jaw.