How to Treat and Beat Bruxism

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Have teeth grinding or jaw clenching become a horrible habit? Then you may be suffering from bruxism. Find out what’s causing your case and how to clench a simple solution.

Causes of Teeth Clenching

Bruxism is a common condition that can occur both during the day and at night, yet both often happen without the sufferer even realizing it. The disorder affects both children and adults, yet it is most frequently seen in children and its likelihood tends decrease with age. While minor teeth clenching can do no harm, severe cases can cause significant distress and discomfort. The precise cause of teeth grinding is not known, but it is typically attributed to one or more of these factors:

  • Missing or crooked teeth
  • Jaw disorders
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Sleep apnea
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications

Detection and Diagnosis

Bruxism is usually diagnosed by its effects. Teeth grinding tends to cause very visible wear and erosion of the teeth, which a dentist can easily detect with a dental examination. The impact of teeth clenching is often felt rather than seen, with the habit causing severe facial soreness, jaw pain, jaw joint damage, headaches, and earaches. These signs tend to appear in both daytime and sleep conditions, but people suffering from sleep bruxism frequently wake up with unexplained headaches and tooth sensitivity.

Treatment Techniques for Teeth Grinding

Daytime bruxism is typically treated with behavior modification techniques, awareness reminders, and possibly short-term splint therapy. Yet more complex cases may require psychological counseling or medication for stress and anxiety. And therapy for sleep bruxism often includes wearing a mouth guard at night to prevent teeth grinding and protect the teeth, as well as medication like antidepressants and muscle relaxants. In a matter of time, these treatments should provide relief from the burden of bruxism.

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