Bruxism (also known as teeth grinding) is a condition that occurs during sleep. However, some people are habitual of clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth subconsciously when they are awake. This condition is known as awake Bruxism.
What Causes Bruxism?
Bruxism is a common condition that mainly occurs among kinds. Some of the common reasons for this problem to occur are:
- Teeth are not aligned properly
- Pain which includes earache or teething
- Stress or anxiety. For example, some individuals grind their teeth when worried about appearing for a test or aren’t ready to accept the changing routine. Also, arguing with someone often causes stress which prompts teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
- Medical issues such as hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, or a few other types of medicines.
Most kids who grind their teeth don’t know that they do so. Mostly parents or the siblings who sleep nearby the kids are the ones to recognize the issue. Some of the signs and symptoms that are most noticed are:
- Hearing grinding noises when your kid is sleeping is nearby
- Kids complain of sore jaw or face when they wake up in the morning
- Kids experience pain when they chew something
During your regular dental visits, the dentist will look for possible symptoms of Bruxism. Your dentist or doctor helps you find a suitable solution for getting rid of Bruxism.
Possible solutions to Bruxism
If you are habitual of grinding your teeth, you can do plenty of things to stop it. Let’s discuss a few of the possible solutions to Bruxism.
· Using Mouthguards and Splints
Mouthguards for teeth grinding are a kind of occlusal splint that can be helpful for sleep bruxism. They work by cushioning your teeth and not allowing them to grind against each other when sleeping. Mouthguards are incredibly effective in protecting your teeth from damage. They also help in reducing strain on your jaw.
Most mouthguards present in the market are made of plastic and aren’t comfortable enough for usage. That’s why you must prefer custom-made mouthguards. So, when you are purchasing an OTC mouthguard, you must look for something made of soft plastic or one that can be boiled to soften.
Custom-made occlusal guards are much effective for people with minor teeth grinding. However, the ones available in the market are cheap compared to the custom-made options. Furthermore, OTC mouthguards are less effective for intense Bruxism than custom-made options.
· Dental Corrections
If Bruxism gets worse and your teeth become unable to chew things properly, the dentist will reshape the chewing services of your teeth. For some instances, he may use crowns to minimize the damage.
This technique helps people become aware of teeth grinding habits and eliminate them. The method is mainly used for sleep bruxism; however, it is equally effective in treating awake Bruxism.
During the biofeedback, the therapist teaches you methods to control your jaw muscle movements through visual, vibratory, or auditory feedback generated from electromyography.
Certain medications can also turn out to be effective in treating teeth grinding. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen are incredibly effective in eliminating pain and swelling associated with Bruxism.
For some instances, doctors may also suggest taking medications as they help relax the muscles and stop the cycle of teeth grinding. Resultantly, the jaw muscles find time to relax or rest and minimize the symptoms associated with Bruxism.
However, it must be kept in mind that medications may leave side effects. So, if you are experiencing any side effects with bruxism medications, you must consult your doctor and ask him to change the medication.
· Managing Stress
As mentioned earlier, one of the possible reasons for teeth grinding and jaw clenching is severe stress and anxiety. So, one of the practical techniques of getting rid of Bruxism is managing stress and anxiety. Indulge in healthy activities and shift towards a healthier lifestyle. Doing this will help you manage stress and anxiety and minimize symptoms associated with Bruxism.
Teeth grinding or Bruxism refers to conscious or unconscious grinding of teeth and clenching of jaws. The condition is much common in children; however, several adults are affected by it too. Several treatments are available to get rid of this condition. We recommend you try the treatments mentioned above if you want to get rid of Bruxism. Do not try any treatment before consulting with your dentist.