What is Bruxism and How is it Treated?

Bruxism is the involuntary grinding of teeth in people often caused by anxiety or stress. While treatment in many children and adults may not be necessary, as it can be a passing phase related to ear pain, or abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth; in others, bruxism becomes a chronic condition and can cause serious damage to the teeth, as well as neck, jaw and head pain for the sufferer.

It is estimated that as many as one in three people suffer from bruxism, and if you find yourself with teeth or jaw pain when you wake up in the morning, notice that your teeth enamel has begun to chip, or that you have a bad alignment when you bite, you should consult with an expert like J&S Dental Lab to see if they can fit you a custom night guard.

What Causes Bruxism?

While in adults the main cause of teeth grinding is thought to be stress or tension, there are other conditions that can trigger bruxism, especially in children. This could be:

  • Malocclusion (a bad alignment of the top and bottom teeth)
  • Anxiety or a competitive personality
  • Sleep problems, such as apnoea
  • Response to pain from teething or earache (in children)
  • Acid reflux
  • Medications (side-effects)

How Can it Be Treated?

In many case, especially in children, the problem will go away as soon as the cause has been resolved. However, if you have abnormal teeth alignment, your dentist might suggest that you use splints or a guard to keep your teeth apart, or that you try corrective surgery or braces.

Where the bruxism is mild or passing, and thought to be related to a stressful period in the sufferer’s life, other anxiety management therapies are thought to be useful. This could include anything from therapy to meditation; yoga, and taking hot, relaxing baths, to behavior management.

There are also medications that might be useful in helping your jaw loosen, such as a mild muscle relaxer before you go to sleep. Botox is also becoming more common in tackling bruxism in patients who have not responded well to other therapies.

How to Watch Out for Bruxism

Regular dental checks are the best way to see if your teeth have been worn down by grinding. But you can be on the lookout for it as well. Teeth pain, muscle tension, pain in the neck and head are all signs of possible bruxism, as well as chipped enamel and an abnormal bite.

Contact http://jsdentallab.com/ to ask about using a dental bite guard, which is the most common treatment. But whatever you need, your health care providers can recommend what’s best for you, and also fit a guard just for you, instead of self-diagnosis.