Bruxism is the dental term for teeth grinding and clenching. This is something that most of us are not even aware that we are doing. Clenching and grinding your teeth is often done when you are asleep, concentrating or from abnormalities in the teeth or jaws. The over use of the muscles in your jaw and cheeks from the repeated action of clenching and grinding can cause pain and aches. Just like over working the weights at the gym, you feel the strain.
The main muscle being the masseter which runs from your cheek bone (zygomatic arch) to your lower jaw bone (mandible)
Bruxism is also linked to stress and anxiety, and can have negative impact on your life and sleep.
Signs and symptoms range from pain and sensitivity in your teeth, headaches, pain and tension in the jaw and neck to chipped and worn teeth, micro-fractures in the teeth.
When bruxism happens over a long period of time the enamel of the teeth becomes flat and worn. The wearing of your enamel can lead to further dental problems.
This is something your dentist assess’ at your routine care appointments. Having acid in your diet whilst grinding can advance the wear facets. It is important for your dentist to make you aware of this and suggest changes in your diet as well as other prevention treatments.
Other treatment for pain relief from muscles spasms and tension can range your dentist prescribing painkillers and relaxant for muscular and facial pain, changing behavioural patterns or removing high spots from restorations.
A lot of people notice a difference from being made aware that clenching and grinding takes place. Often a partner will hear a grinder/clencher during the night.
Massaging the muscle against the grain and stretching the jaw can also help with acute muscle pain.
An occlusal splint or night guard is a treatment option to protect the teeth. This is a thick mouth guard that is placed on either the upper or lower teeth. It prevents further damage to your teeth during the night.
Categorised in: Blog
This post was written by Letooth