Preventing teeth grinding

Teeth grinding is a more common than you think, and it happens to us occasionally. It is also referred to as bruxism. The occasional grinding of the teeth do not cause much damage but when grinding occurs on a regular basis, teeth can be damaged and oral health issues can arise.

 

Causes

Teeth grinding is commonly associated with anxiety stress and often occurs during sleep. Other reasons for teeth grindng in sleep and when awake include missing or crooked teeth and an abnormal bite. It is also due to certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

Since it happens during sleep, many are unaware if they have this condition. More often than not, people only start tosuspect this condition when they experience symptoms of bruxism like sore jaw as well as dull and constant headaches. Others may find out from their bed partners who will inform them of the grinding. However, for a proper diagnosis, you should visit a dentist to seek a consultation for prevalent signs of this condition.

Symptoms

Some of the most prevalent signs and symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Teeth clenching or grinding (sometimes loud enough to wake the patient’s bed partner)
  • Chipped, loose, flattened, or fractured teeth
  • Worn tooth enamel (in extreme cases, deeper layers of the tooth are exposed)
  • Increased tooth sensitivity or pain
  • Tight or tired jaw muscles
  • Locked jaw (sometimes won’t close or open completely)
  • Soreness or pain in the face, neck, or jaw
  • Dull headache (often starts in the temples)
  • Pain that resembles an earache (not related to any existing problems with your ear)
  • Sleep disruption

Treatment

In most cases, treatment is unnecessry. Children with bruxism often outgrow this condition and it is not so severe in adults. Unfortunately, there are still severe cases which may require therapies, medications and certain dental approaches. They are used to relieve pain and discomfort and prevent further exacerbation of the condition.

Dental approaches

  1. Mouth guards and splints

They are meant to create space by separating teeth to prevent further damage. They are usually made of a soft material or acryllic and fitted onto the teeth.

  1. Dental correction

In extreme cases, when the teeth has been wore down such that the ability to chew is compromised, it is recommended the teeth is reshaped or crowned.

Other approaches

  1. Behavioural change

Through frequent practice, the positioning of your jaw and mouth can be properly adjusted with the help of your dentist of course.

  1. Anxiety and stress managment

It is best to address the root cause of the problem and not wait for your condition to worsen to then seek treatment. If your grinding is likely due to stress, coping mechanism can greatly help to relieve your stress and promote relaxation. Otherwise, if it is due to anxiety, seeking professional help from a therapist or psychiatrist.

  1. Biofeedback

Old habits die hard so biofeedback is there to provide the monitoring equipment and procedure to ensure that patients are committed to control their muscle activity in their jaws.

With these tips, do not be held back on the potential of recovering your natural smile with dental implants. For guidance or booking an appointment for a dental implant procedure, contact us at 1728 Dental via :

1728 Dental@AMK: +65 9631 1728

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