Written by: on February 12, 2016 @ 11:29 am

shutterstock_219399064Everyone has probably clenched their teeth at one point or another, it is quite common after all. However, when you’re grinding (or clenching) your teeth regularly, otherwise known as bruxism, your teeth can become damaged and worn over time. Unfortunately, grinding commonly occurs during sleep, making it difficult to diagnose. Typically, symptoms of sleep bruxism are; chipped or fractured teeth, worn enamel, tooth sensitivity, tired-feeling muscles around the jaw or face, and a dull headache in the mornings. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of teeth grinding, knowing the cause behind your new habit will help you and your dentist to find the right treatment.

Causes:

1.Emotional Factors

Emotions like stress, anxiety, and anger can all cause tension around the jaw and face, often leading to teeth clenching or grinding even if you aren’t aware of it.

2.Misaligned Bite

Malocclusion occurs when the lower teeth don’t align properly with the upper teeth – a misaligned bite commonly causes sleep bruxism.

3.Sleep Disorders

Sleep apnea could be a leading cause of teeth grinding according to several studies as sleep bruxism rarely occurs in isolation.

Treatments:

1.Dental Appliances/Correction

A dental appliance such as a splint or mouth guard will fit over your teeth to keep them separated, especially throughout your sleep when your muscles are tempted to bring them together.

Dental correction is the only way to realign your teeth so they can fit properly together.

2.Therapy

There are several different types of therapy bruxers could benefit from, especially if your grinding is caused from emotional factors. Stress relief therapies, stress and anger management, and behavior therapy are all proven to be effective treatments.

3.Medication

Medications aren’t as common as the first two treatments, but muscle relaxants can help to relieve your jaw and face muscles temporarily. Typically, medications are best used short-term for bruxism.

The easiest way to diagnose sleep bruxism is by visiting your dentist regularly. When you’re having your teeth cleaned and checked, your dentist typically scans your teeth for signs of abnormal wear (a tell-tale sign of teeth grinding). If you haven’t seen your dentist in the last 6 months, schedule your appointment today!

Catogories: Bruxism

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