1
1 point

Bruxism affects millions of people all over the world. Millions more are probably unaware that they have the disorder.

Commonly known as teeth grinding or clenching, bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity classified both as a habitual behaviour and sleep disorder. It can occur while you’re awake but in most cases, manifests only during sleep.

To be sure, most people are known to clench their teeth during sleep, but doing so only infrequently. Bruxism sufferers do it so excessively and frequently that it takes a toll on their teeth structure and surface.

The evidence is usually mild in the initial stages such that bruxism sufferers are seldom aware of their condition – that is until they discover visible damage to their teeth.

Research has shown that only 5% of teeth clenchers actually present with any symptoms.

What causes Bruxism?

Bruxism may be triggered by stress, misaligned teeth, sleeping posture, digestive ailments, heredity factors as well as anxiety.

The factors that cause bruxism in children and adults also differ. 

Adult bruxers generally lead a stressful lifestyle with certain eating/drinking habits.  Children with allergies and nutritional deficiencies are more prone to the disorder.

You may grind your teeth at night and not be aware of it. That’s because the symptoms of bruxism overlap with many dental and medical ailments.

In extreme cases, teeth clenching can lead to Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) and alter your facial appearance. Prolonged and excessive lateral teeth movement – with a sliding motion involving the temperomandibular joints – can lead to TMJ dysfunction.

How can dentists help with bruxism?

Your Canberra dentist would most likely recommend oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a remedy.

OAT usually comes in the form of mouthguard and splints that are worn during sleep to relieve the pain, discomfort and wear caused by jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

The dentist would typically start by investigating your complaints or symptoms through an oral exam, followed by an x-ray, where necessary. The dentist will be looking for evidence of the nocturnal clenching and grinding. For example, a hairline wear pattern may suggest weeks or months of the sleeping disorder.

If you are found to have the condition, a customised mouth guard or splint would generally be prescribed, to be worn over your teeth while you sleep.

It is designed to hold your jaw in a resting position and prevent your teeth from grinding. The hard acrylic material of the splint is able to withstand excessive grinding and clenching and flexible enough to be worn comfortably throughout the night.

These therapeutic devices are customised to your specific teeth structure so that they fit better and deliver optimum results.

Do not ignore the problem of teeth grinding and clenching

In extreme cases, teeth clenching can lead to Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) and alter your facial appearance. Prolonged and excessive lateral teeth movement – with a sliding motion involving the temperomandibular joints – can lead to TMJ dysfunction.

Teeth clenching and grinding is also one of the leading causes of tooth loss, occlusal trauma and gum recession.

If you suspect or have been told that you are clenching and grinding your teeth in your sleep, do not simply brush it aside. Book an appointment to see your local Canberra dentist, who is in the best position to diagnose your issue and come up with an appropriate course of action.

Are you looking for a Canberra dentist who can check your teeth for signs and symptoms of bruxism?

Go to the Dentist Canberra website to find the right one!


Like it? Share with your friends!

1
1 point

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *