Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, involves gashing or clenching the teeth repeatedly at night while the patient sleeps. This neuromuscular disorder’s exact cause is unknown, but there are many factors that can increase the possibility of a person developing bruxism. Some of these factors include:
Teeth grinding is often mild, but depending on the patient can become a severe issue that badly damages the teeth. Night time grinding of the teeth can be common in children, but is usually outgrown. In adults that continue grinding their permanent teeth, complications can include damage to the enamel and nerves of the teeth, damage to the jaw joint or pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), as well as the potential of damage to current dental work. Porcelain crowns and other very hard materials can cause additional damage to the teeth they are being ground against during bouts of bruxism.
Do I Have Bruxism?
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of their tendency for teeth grinding, and suffer with the symptoms for years before taking any action, causing great damage to their teeth and jaws. If you suffer from headaches, jaw pain, are diagnosed with TMD, or are concerned that your teeth are becoming flat, speak to a dentist immediately about whether you are showing signs of Bruxism.
What Is The Cure To Bruxism?
At this time, there is no cure for nighttime teeth grinding, and treatments focus on reducing the possibility of it occurring or reducing the damage that can occur. Removing some of the potential causes can help reduce symptoms, but they most effective treatment is a custom fit night guard. Made from a high grade plastic or another soft but sturdy material, a night guard is worn during sleep and prevents the upper and lower teeth from rubbing against each other. While not preventing the clenching and grinding of the jaws, a night guard can prevent damage to the teeth and existing dental work, and can reduce the symptoms such as jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, and headaches. While one-size-fits-all-night guards are frequently available at your local pharmacy, comfort, durability, and fit are very important factors to ensure you don’t cause even more damage to your mouth. Be sure to speak to your Peoria dentist about a custom night guard.