People often use their teeth for masticating. This action plays a vital role in breaking food down into smaller fragments, which make them easier for digestion. However, some people clench and grind their teeth on other occasions as well. This condition goes by the name of bruxism. Bruxism remains a habit that affects hundreds, if not thousands, of people the world over.
Unfortunately, it does not get the attention it deserves. This usually happens because many people afflicted with this condition remain blissfully unaware that they suffer from bruxism. So, they do not even possess any awareness of the problem. As a result, they will hardly consider exploring ways to deal with it or control it. In some cases, the condition might only become active at night. So, the afflicted individual will not realise that they need to find ways of dealing with this condition.
People with bruxism grind their teeth repeatedly without being aware of it. As a result, this repeated action produces sufficient force for wearing down the enamel of the teeth. In addition, many cosmetic dentists in Fairfield and other places have found that bruxism has resulted in chips and damage to the teeth. In some cases, this condition has even damaged veneers and fillings. Awake bruxism denotes the unconscious clenching of teeth when the person remains awake. Similarly, sleep bruxism denotes the clenching or grinding of teeth while the person sleeps. People with sleep bruxism often have other sleep disorders as well – including sleep apnoea, snoring etc. Emotions such as anger, stress, tension, frustration etc. can cause awake bruxism.
As mentioned earlier, many people might not be aware that they suffer from bruxism. However, some tell-tale indicators that they could watch out for include:
- Flattened, fractured or chipped teeth
- Loose teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Increased instances of tooth pain
- Enhanced levels of tooth sensitivity
- Tired, locked or tight jaw muscles and,
- Pain or soreness in the jaw, neck, face or the inner sides of your cheeks
According to dental experts, stress remains the most common cause of bruxism. Bite problems, the excessive consumption of stimulants (such as alcohol, drugs etc.) and the side effects of certain medications can also lead to this condition. Exercise and meditation can be easy ways to de-stress. But, if this does not achieve the objective, you might want to visit the nearest emergency dentist. Some dentists have mitigated the problem with a minor bite adjustment. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from one misaligned tooth to bring it in line with the others. If the grinding has become severe enough to damage the teeth, some dentists might recommend the use of occlusal guards as well. Patients will keep these guards in their mouth while they sleep. Occlusal guards do not only prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming into contact with each other. They also protect the jaw joints from the stress caused by the grinding motion.
For more information, contact Civic Plaza Dental today.