Bruxism is a condition more known as teeth grinding. People with bruxism manifest the symptoms consciously or unconsciously any part of the day or while sleeping. Bruxism can be treated as both medical and dental cases because the causes may sometimes originate from these two areas. Although most instances are mild and temporary, people afflicted with severe and frequent incidents of teeth gnashing seek bruxism treatment.
There are several reasons why people grind their teeth. Doctors cannot directly pinpoint the cause, but they believe bruxism is triggered mainly by stress. Dentists also blame it on teeth misalignment, which is common among children whose teeth are still on development stage. But, the symptom does not apply with adults with permanent teeth thus other factors are being looked into. Although it is not considered a major health problem, people with the disorder are advised to consult their doctor or dentist for proper bruxism treatment.
Treating Psychological-Related Causes
Stress and anxiety are usually the underlying psychological factors ascribed to trigger bruxism. Psychological treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT are performed to stricken patients to manage their mental and emotional faculties. Therapists can expertly psyche up and change the way patients think about themselves and other people, which greatly affect their thoughts, actions, and feeling.
People whose bruxism is stress-related are advised to relax before bedtime to condition their mind and body in order to have a good restful sleep. There are various ways to achieve this, including among others, listening to soft music, taking a warm bath, reading a good book, or even yoga. Doctors can recommend other stress management techniques and choosing the one that works well can completely cure bruxism.
Using Dental Devices
If the condition is diagnosed as dental-related, dentists may advise a patient to wear a mouth guard or a mouth splint as bruxism treatment. These devises serve as physical barrier between the top and lower teeth thus preventing them from grinding against each other. Mouth guards are similar to those used by boxers when they spar. They are made from either rubber or plastic that the dentist can custom-fit into the mouth. Although there are ready-made mouth guards in local pharmacies, they are not the perfect fit unlike the one tailored by the family dentist. A mouth splint, on the other hand, is a bite plate that fits precisely to cover the upper or lower teeth. It is more expensive than a mouth guard is. Both devices are effective in reducing bruxism, but not as effective in curing the problem.
Dentists may also prescribe the use of mandibular advancement devices (MADs) which are also used to address other sleep problems such as obstructive sleep apnea or snoring. A set of MAD consists of two mouth guards welded together to be worn for the upper and lower teeth. It is used at night to set the bottom jaw forward and hold it closed as the patient sleeps. It is considered as a more effective bruxism treatment than the other devices, but more painful to wear.
Breaking an Old Habit
Bruxism can be a habit when people grind their teeth during their waking hours. It is usually done when one is in stress or trying to concentrate on something. People who are aware of their teeth clashing habit and are seriously considering of putting an end to it needs to record the frequency of falling into it each day. It can help them determine the reasons why they do it and proceed on working out how to get rid of the habit. One way is to relax the jaw or to place the tongue between the upper and lower teeth when there is the urge to grind or clench them. Although these habit-reversal techniques have no proven scientific cure, they may nevertheless help in reducing the bruxism pattern.
Teeth grinding can sometimes be an alarming condition especially when it is already affecting the teeth structure, or causing headaches, pain and inflammation in the jaw area. People who suffer from it can seek bruxism treatment to relieve them from the inconveniences and to avoid causing disturbance to others who need some restful sleep. Make sure to consult the professionals who can provide the best advice to prevent or completely cure bruxism.