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Bruxism refers to nonverbal activity that occurs in most people at some point in their lives. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are the two main symptoms of this disease, which can happen during the day or night.

Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders, with most of the damage occurring during sleep. The twitching and nausea that accompanies bruxism is a sign of impaired swallowing, which in non-sufferers does not work during sleep For sufferers, deep sleep or even slumber gives reflex neural control center in the brain, activating reflex pathways

The opposing incisors and canines (6 upper teeth in front) usually rub against each other laterally. This unilateral process places disproportionate stress on the middle pterygoid muscle and the temporomandibular joint. Common symptoms of bruxism include ear pain, dizziness, headaches, eating disorders and anxiety; These symptoms also occur with health issues such as chronic stress, Alzheimer’s disease and alcohol abuse.
Bruxism is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, as it is just one of many possible causes of tooth decay. Only a trained professional can tell the difference between bruxing, excessive aggressive bruxing, and setting caused by acidic drinks and abrasive foods.

Our team evaluate each patient for signs of bruxism and determine if treatment is recommended.

Reasons for the treatment of bruxism

Here are some of the main reasons why bruxism should be promptly treated:

Bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum erosion and tooth loss. It directly damages soft tissue, creating tooth decay and deep pockets, where bacteria can build up and destroy the supporting bone.

Abnormal wear on the occlusal (chewing) can cause tooth fractures, which may require treatment.

In acute and chronic cases, bruxing can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint (the joint that allows the jaw to open properly).
Finally, tooth grinding associated with bruxism can lead to shortening and dullness of the teeth. This can cause lightheadedness and muscle pain in the nerve cell area.

Treatment options for bruxism

There is no single treatment for bruxism, though a variety of helpful devices and tools are available. Here are some common ways to treat bruxism:

An acrylic device can be digitally scanned in order to reduce the abrasive surface of teeth during normal sleep. Bruxism devices should be worn overnight to help stabilize occlusion, gum recession and prevent damage to the teeth and temporomandibular joint Bruxism devices are individualized and worth the patient’s cost.

Sometimes if teeth are misaligned or don’t bite together correctly, it can lead to bruxism. Sometimes, correcting a bite through dental treatment can have the effect of reducing bruxism.

Unfortunately, once the habit of bruxism is established, it usually can’t be stopped completely. It is important to try to reduce any symptoms and the irreversible damage to teeth and supporting structures as much as possible.

If you have questions or concerns about bruxism, please contact our office.