Bruxism is the name for the involuntary habit of grinding your teeth. The upper teeth are squeezed against the lower ones suddenly and intensely, which can be genuinely harmful to our teeth and oral health in the long term. It is a more frequent condition during the night, but it can also be suffered during the day, and in addition to the wear of the teeth, it can cause facial, jaw, headache, cervical pain, etc. Early diagnosis and proper dental treatment are necessary to prevent further deterioration of tooth enamel and other more serious dental damage. At FastlyHealwe, show in detail what are the symptoms, causes, and treatment for Bruxism.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Being an involuntary habit, many patients are unaware that they suffer from Bruxism and clench and grind their teeth throughout the day or at night while sleeping. This condition causes excessive pressure to be exerted on the different teeth and structures around the jaw and, consequently, can cause symptoms such as those detailed below:
- Pain and swelling in the jaw and problems in the temporomandibular joint.
- Occasional headaches
- Earaches are because the temporomandibular joint structures are very close to the ear canal.
- Facial and neck pain.
- Sudden dental pain.
- Dental hypersensitivity: sensitivity of the teeth to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.
- Worn dental pieces.
- Dental fractures and fissures.
- Loss of verticality of the teeth.
- Anxiety, stress, and tension.
Suspecting Bruxism or suffering from the above symptoms, it is essential to go to the dentist as soon as possible for a safe diagnosis and to be able to start the appropriate treatment in each case, as this will be closely linked to the factor causing this condition. Although Bruxism tends to be mild in most cases, it can seriously impair oral health in the long run, so it should not be overlooked under any circumstances.
Causes of Bruxism
Although the exact cause of Bruxism is unknown, in the vast majority of cases, it has been determined that it is a habit that appears as a consequence of an accumulation of stress, anxiety, or tension. On the one hand, there are those people who process emotional stress during sleeping hours and suffer, therefore, from nocturnal Bruxism, which is more difficult to control and represents a sleep disturbance, making it difficult for the affected person to rest. On the other, some tend to clench their teeth temporarily in those stressful situations they go through in their day to day, whether due to personal, family, work, etc.
In addition to the stress that is considered the main triggering factor, others can increase the risk of having Bruxism, and these are the following:
- Bite problems.
- Misaligned teeth.
- Bad body postures.
- Bad sleeping habits.
- Consume alcoholic and caffeinated beverages in excess.
Dental treatments for Bruxism
Treating Bruxism is necessary to reduce the pain and discomfort it causes and prevent it from causing severe damage to the teeth and making them more susceptible to tooth decay or periodontal disease.
The most recommended dental treatment for patients with Bruxism is a shock splint, which may be necessary only during the day, at night, or during the day, depending on its severity. It is a kind of horseshoe-shaped protector that is usually placed on the upper teeth and keeps the teeth protected from the intense pressure applied when the teeth are clenched or grinding. This also prevents the teeth from gradually wearing out and deteriorating and preventing problems that affect the temporomandibular joint from appearing. It is essential to use this device strictly following the indications provided by the dentist in each case.
In other cases of Bruxism, the patient may require orthodontic treatment to correct the alignment of the teeth and end the poor placement of the affected teeth and bones. It may also be that the Bruxism is very advanced, and there is severe dental wear in which the tooth’s nerve begins to be visible. In this situation, it will be necessary to start a complete rehabilitation treatment through root canal placement of zirconium prostheses.
Reduce anxiety and stress
As we have indicated, anxiety and stress is the leading cause of Bruxism, and for this reason, it is essential to combat it by stopping clenching and grinding your teeth frequently.
First, it is essential to learn to relax and eliminate all the tensions accumulated during the day. I am doing relaxing activities or disciplines such as yoga or Pilates, learning to do relaxation techniques and putting them into practice, especially before going to sleep, occasionally receiving professional, relaxing massages, or doing physical exercise periodically. This is excellent for relieving stress, promoting relaxation of the jaw, and, therefore, avoiding clenching the upper teeth against the lower.
If it is impossible to cope with anxiety or stress using techniques such as the above, it is essential to put yourself in the hands of a specialist and follow a professional treatment adapted to the particularities of each case.
Other recommendations to combat Bruxism
In addition to the treatments explained, the following recommendations can help to alleviate the pain caused by Bruxism, as well as to get to control it more efficiently and avoid severe dental damage:
- In the case of jaw pain, it can be soothing to apply some ice or moist heat to the affected area. This will also help reduce inflammation.
- Be aware of this involuntary habit and try to relax your facial muscles and jaw during the day.
- Massage your face, neck, and shoulders to reduce discomfort and relax.
- Avoid eating foods that are very hard and difficult to chew.
- Avoid chewing gum and chewing on objects other than food.
- Bear in mind that the correct position of the jaw is the so-called floating position; that is, there should be no contact between the upper and lower teeth. This should only happen in the chewing process but at no other time.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.