The majority of people will suffer from bruxism at least once in their life. For some, this phenomenon will only be temporary. However, for 14% of children, 8% of adults and 3% of seniors, bruxism will manifest itself on several occasions. Since it can cause damage to the jaw and teeth, this problem is not to be taken lightly. So here’s everything you need to know about bruxism, from symptoms to solutions!
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the medical term for something most people are quite familiar with, grinding your teeth. It also applies to those who clench their jaws tightly when they sleep. Occasionally, grinding your teeth is not cause for concern. However if it occurs frequently, it can cause significant damage to your oral health.
What are the symptoms?
Since teeth grinding or jaw clenching most often occurs while you’re asleep, it is not uncommon for people to be unaware that they are suffering from it. Often times, it is someone else who tells you about it.
In addition, some signs may be revealing, such as abnormal tooth wear or jaw cracking. Some symptoms may help you know if you struggle with bruxism could include:
- Frequent headaches;
- A feeling of tiredness in the jaw while waking up;
- A limitation of opening of the mouth;
- A painful or stiff jaw, especially in the mornings;
- Sensitivity of the teeth after waking up;
- Ear pains; etc.
What causes bruxism?
Research on bruxism is still ongoing. Although some causes are still unknown, several explanations can lead to this phenomenon, including:
- Stress and anxiety;
- Periods of awakening during sleep;
- Sleeping on your back;
- Dental problems such as missing or crooked teeth; and
- Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
What are the consequences of bruxism?
Chronic bruxism can have permanent consequences on your teeth and general oral hygiene. The wear of the teeth will cause sensitivity to cold and your teeth will become more prone to fractures. In addition, you may develop joint problems.
How to reduce the symptoms of Bruxism
The first step is always to become aware of the problem. If you think you suffer from bruxism, it is important to talk or seek help from a dental professional as soon as possible. This will save you from long-term complications.
Here are some possible solutions to help reduce bruxism:
- Wear a hard plastic try (occlusal plate);
- Apply a varnish or fluoride gel;
- Reduce your levels of stress;
- Avoid sleeping on your back;
- Avoid caffeine in the evening; and
- Avoid excessive alcohol.
At Dr. Vinh Nguyen and Associates Dental and Implantology Clinic in Brossard, our health professionals will be able to help you identify irritants and provide you with long-lasting solutions. Make your appointment today!