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Bruxism

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the result of clenching the jaw down tightly and grinding the teeth. When you clench down on your teeth pressure is put on the muscles, tissues and other structures surrounding the jaw.  People who clench their teeth mainly do it while sleeping.

Symptoms

  • Sore jaw
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders

Causes

Most people clench their teeth more at night than during the day because you have no control over it when sleeping. Others do it throughout the day without even realizing it. Though the cause of Bruxism is not determined completely some causes are:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Posture
  • Diet
  • Sleeping habits
  • Misaligned teeth

Not being in control of how tightly you bite down is the main problem. People with severe headaches may clench their teeth at night without even knowing about it.  Those bruxers who live alone are especially at risk because there is no one there to hear them grinding to inform them of the habit.

How to treat Bruxism

There is no definitive treatment for Bruxism, though there is prevention.  There is no way to completely stop clenching your teeth if you do already. It’s more about management than anything else.

Ways to manage and sooth the pain of Bruxism

  • Relax your jaw throughout the day. When you realize that you are clenching your teeth while you’re awake, let loose.
  • Try to tilt your head down when you are yawning as to prevent jaw injury due to hyperextention
  • Getting plenty of sleep is essential to releasing pain, although most clenching/grinding is done while you sleep, more sleep releases stress and reduces jaw clenching.
  • Massage the muscles in your neck, jaw and even behind your ears.
  • Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Avoid eating food that is hard to chew.
  • Wearing a night guard while you sleep will help from getting the headaches and jaw pains, in addition to protecting the teeth from wear caused by grinding.

The best prevention of damage caused by grinding is a night guard. Impressions of the teeth are taken and a night guard is customized to fit the teeth perfectly. You don’t have to suffer from bruxism anymore! Please fee free to call us if you feel that you may suffer from bruxism.  We can discuss your individual case, severity & options for treatment that will work best for you.

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