Do you have a habit of grinding your teeth while sleeping? Most likely you suffer from bruxism, a disorder that needs to be known. And treat.
Ever heard of bruxism? No, it has nothing to do with witchcraft or occult sciences. It is actually a functional disorder that affects many people of all ages.
It is characterized by continuous grinding of the teeth, usually while sleeping, causing a notorious discomfort not only to those who suffer from this problem, but also to those around them. It’s not easy to sleep next to someone who suffers from bruxism.
Bruxism: what is it?
Bruxism is a functional disorder that is characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth. Dental bruxism affects about 15% of the population and does not choose gender or age. It may be about centric bruxismwhen there is only clenching of the teeth, or bruxism eccentricwhen there are movements that make teeth grind.
It is also possible to distinguish between nocturnal and daytime bruxism. Nocturnal bruxism is one that occurs during sleep, without the person realizing that he is clenching or grinding his teeth.
Daytime bruxism, also known as brichismis one that occurs during the day and is characterized by being a voluntary or semi-voluntary activity, with clenching or grinding of teeth often associated with habits or tics.
What are the causes?
Although the exact causes of bruxism are not known, this problem is often associated with psychological factors such as stress, tension or anxiety.
What are the symptoms?
Even if you don’t know or don’t realize it, you can suffer from bruxism. When we talk about nocturnal bruxism, the problem is often noticeable and/or identified by someone who is relatively close to the person grinding their teeth. But there is another way, just be aware of the symptoms.
- face swelling
- sore jaws
- Headache (such as headaches, migraines, a feeling of pressure in the forehead or back of the neck)
- Pain, noises or buzzing in the ears, which can also cause the feeling of a blocked ear and even a decrease in hearing
- neck pain
- Limitation in opening or closing the mouth (in cases where there is wear on the condyle of the mandible)
- Dizziness, vertigo, nausea or vomiting
- Neuralgias (usually associated with the trigeminal nerve)
What are the consequences?
The health consequences of those suffering from bruxism can be vast and, in some cases, complicated. If it is true that each case is different, it is also true that there are some very common signs that affect sufferers of this problem. Find out what they are.
- tooth sensitivity
- Frequent headaches and earaches
- Premature wear of teeth and loss of tooth enamel
- sleep disorders
- Possible tooth fractures
- Hypertrophy or inflammation of the muscles involved in mastication
- Temporomaxillary arthritis (TMJ)
How to treat bruxism?
Appropriate treatment may vary from case to case, as it depends on what is causing the problem. But the most common treatment is the use of a gutter or bruxism plate.
It is a resin plate (a kind of mouthpiece), molded for the patient, which fits the teeth and prevents contact between them, avoiding pressure or teeth grinding.
You can also take some daily precautions that can help alleviate the symptoms, such as avoiding hard foods. You can also massage the muscles in your face and neck and apply ice or a hot, wet towel to your face to relax sore muscles.
These solutions, however, do not correct the problem, they only minimize the damage. If you suffer from this condition, or suspect that you may have this undiagnosed problem, consult your dentist. It is this professional who will direct the treatment, namely in the prescription of a gutter or the arrangement of the affected teeth.