You may have heard the term from another patient at the dental clinic or from a show and you start to wonder: What is bruxism?
It may sound like scary untreatable condition, but it is not. Let a trusted Livonia dentist shed some light on this matter.
What bruxism means
Bruxism is a term in the dental field that refers to the clenching and grinding of teeth. Because of the sheer pressure placed on the teeth, bruxers may experience pain around the jaw area and other parts of the face.
A bruxer is a term that refers to the people who suffer from this condition. At times, bruxers are not aware that they are grinding or clenching their teeth. This is especially true during the night while the person is sleeping.
Bruxism is not limited to biting down on your teeth. Some bruxers may have the habit of biting their fingernails, pen or pencil, or even chewing along the inside of their mouth. Approximately a third of the population has the condition.
A visit to the dentist can remedy the situation.
How it affects the person
For some people, they place so much pressure on their jaw that their teeth eventually become sensitive. Some of the common symptoms of bruxism include headaches, jaw pain and tense muscles. The constant grinding and clenching can also cause excessive wear on the person’s teeth. In addition, placing too much pressure on the teeth and gums, even while not eating, can dislocate the jaw.
People who are nervous and have difficulty handling stress are more prone to developing bruxism. In some cases, people show it in other ways by expressing anger, frustration or pain. Competitive, aggressive people and those who are always on the go are also susceptible to developing this condition.
What should you do?
Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you feel pain around your jaw area or are suffering from frequent headaches as these are some of the signs of bruxism. Your dentist may observe your symptoms and condition before making any recommendations or prescribing a treatment.
There are several possible treatments for bruxism. It all depends on the cause. During the day, you can rest your tongue at the roof of your mouth while keeping your mouth closed. This easy method will help alert you if you are clenching your teeth.
For evening tooth grinding and clenching, your dentist may design a night guard for you to use while you sleep. If the condition is due to stress, then meditating, exercising and talking to a counselor can provide some relief.