What is Bruxism?
Bruxism refers to tooth grinding or jaw clenching. It is an overlooked condition in oral health. It affects up to 10 percent of the population and can cause significant damage to the teeth and jaws as well as headaches, neck pain and other symptoms. Although it is most common in those between the ages of 25 and 44, it can occur in people of any ages.
Clenching can occur in people when they are awake but is typically not accompanied by grinding. Sleep bruxism tends to include both jaw clenching and grinding and tends to be strongly correlated with certain factors and conditions, including:
REM sleep disorders
Alcohol, tobacco or recreational drug use
Excess caffeine intake
Addressing underlying causes of bruxism can alleviate the symptoms but may not fully resolve the tooth grinding. A specially designed night guard will typically be needed to protect the sufferer’s teeth from damage due to grinding.
Other treatments for bruxism include:
Correcting misaligned teeth
Muscle relaxants and acupuncture
What are known as “sleep hygiene measures” combined with relaxation techniques
Without treatment, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, damaged restorations and gum or tooth loss. Call our office today to learn more about bruxism or to schedule an appointment.
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