What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a common condition in which you grind or gnash your teeth. It can occur day or night, so you might not even be aware that you’re doing it.
The clenching and grinding accompanying bruxism are symptomatic of a malfunctioning chewing reflex, which is normally turned off during sleep. For bruxism sufferers, REM sleep causes reflex pathways to activate. The most common symptoms of bruxism are tooth wear and headache upon waking.
Bruxism is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all because it is only one of several potential causes of tooth wear. Only a trained professional can tell the difference between wear caused by bruxing versus other causes.
Reasons for the Treatment of Bruxism
Here are some of the main problems bruxism can cause:
- Gum recession and tooth loss
- Occlusal (chewing surface) trauma
- Myofascial problems (muscle pain and headaches)
Treatment Options for Bruxism
There is no single cure for bruxism, though a variety of helpful devices and tools are available. While you should consult with your dentist about the right option for you, some common treatments for bruxism include:
- Mouth guards
- Bite Adjustment
- Anterior Bite Plane
Other treatments include relaxation exercises, stress management education, and biofeedback mechanisms. Once the bruxing is under control, all subsequent dental procedures can be performed with greater efficiency.