What is Bruxism and How Do You Get Rid of It?

What is Bruxism and How Do You Get Rid of It?

When people talk to dental problems, they are often referring to problems with teeth. However, dental health goes beyond caring for your teeth. Parts of your mouth like the jaw are just as much a part of your oral health as your gums and teeth.

Dental problems like bruxism are not commonly talked about, even though a significant part of the world’s population suffers from it. It is a condition that affects both your jawbone and your teeth. Read on to learn more about the problem and how to treat it.

What is Bruxism?

It is a dental problem that is defined as the grinding of teeth together, usually at night as you sleep. It features the unconscious grinding, gnashing, or clenching of teeth. Many people that suffer from this condition are not aware that they grind their teeth at night. Still, some people grind their teeth when awake, even though it is an unconscious occurrence.

When you consider booking an appointment with a general dentist in Houston, that may be the first time you find out about this condition. The condition can also be linked to other sleep disorders, especially if your grinding happens when you are asleep.

According to dentists in North Houston, the grinding of teeth can happen differently for patients, with some having severe cases than others. Technically, mild teeth grinding may not require treatment. When you visit general dentistry, your dentist will diagnose your condition to determine whether or not it is severe.

Complications Of Bruxism

Some cases of teeth grinding are harmless, and you can easily grow out of the habit. However, it is not the case for everyone. Some patients require drastic treatment alternatives since there are complications that can arise from this oral problem. Some of them include:

  1. Jawbone pain – sometimes the pain can be excessive, leading to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
  2. Enamel thinning – the longer you keep up with grinding your teeth, the more you weaken the structure of your teeth. Usually, the enamel begins to wear out exposing more of the dentin layer that sits underneath. The consequences of these include dentin hypersensitivity as well as yellowing of teeth.
  3. Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth – as the result of the constant friction and tension of teeth clenching.
  4. Migraine headaches – the grinding of your teeth utilizes a lot of energy from your facial muscles. This can cause migraine headaches, especially where jaw pain is also involved.
  5. Sleep disruptions – some patients that grind their teeth at night get up many times at night. This can disrupt your sleep patterns, leading to inadequate sleep.

How to Treat Bruxism

Children that suffer from teeth grinding often grow out of it, especially when it is a mild case of the condition. However, in some cases, treatment is necessary, to overcome the dental problem. Depending on the complexity of your condition, you may have different treatment alternatives that work. Some of the methods to get rid of this problem include:

  1. Mouthguards – they are oral appliances meant to protect your teeth from damage. They are sometimes called night guards, particularly for teeth grinding that happens at night. They help keep your lower and upper teeth separated to avoid clenching.
  2. Managing stress and anxiety – one major cause of teeth grinding is stress and anxiety. They can cause you to clench your facial muscles, hence grinding your teeth. If you can keep your stress under control, you can overcome teeth grinding. Consider antidepressants and other medication to help with your anxiety and stressful moods.
  3. Muscle relaxants – they can help release some of the tension in your muscles.
  4. Relax your mind and body – consider listening to music, exercising, or taking a warm bath to help relax your body and mind.
  5. Practice healthy sleeping habits – the quality of your sleep can affect the quality of your life. Invest in practicing proper sleeping patters. Sleep at the same time every day, and avoid distractions when you sleep. Besides that, have any underlying sleeping disorders treated, including sleep apnea which can contribute to teeth grinding.
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