Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a condition where a person clenches or grinds their teeth excessively. In the US alone, 22.1% to 31% of the adult population deals with the condition.
Grinding your teeth is a natural phenomenon, and there is nothing wrong with doing it from time to time. But people with bruxism tend to grind their teeth to the extent that it starts damaging the enamel, and causes other dental and medical issues.
What Causes Bruxism?
Researchers have often found a strong relationship between bruxism and neuroticism. Neuroticism is a mental condition where patients experience extreme forms of anxiety, fear, anger, envy, frustration, depressive episodes, and loneliness. The effects and coping mechanisms that people take up as a result of neuroticism can manifest themselves as bruxism.
Prevalence Among Children
Kids are more likely to excessively grind their teeth. Children who develop bruxism at an early age can often lose the tendency to grind or clench by the time they are adults.
Certain medications are believed to cause bruxism. Medications that affect the central nervous system and those that are used to treat psychiatric conditions can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
If you excessively grind or clench your teeth, the chances are that if someone from your family has or is dealing with it too. Bruxism can also be passed down through generations, so if your family has had a history of teeth grinding, you’re at a higher risk of developing this condition.
What Are The Symptoms of Bruxism?
Since teeth grinding or clenching often occur during sleep, most people aren’t aware that they have developed this condition. If you wake up with a dull constant headache and have a sore jaw, it could be a symptom of bruxism. Moreover, a lot of people learn about this tendency from their partners.
If you think that you might be developing signs of bruxism, you should speak with your dentist. They will check your mouth for any signs of bruxism such as jaw tenderness or excessive wear and tear on your teeth.
How Can Bruxism Be Treated?
There are two approaches to treating bruxism. You can fix your worn out teeth and enamel through a dental approach. But to prevent this condition in the long run, you’ll have to monitor your mental stability and monitor behavioral patterns that make you grind your teeth. The following are some dental solutions you can use to fix the wear and tear:
Nightguards: Nightguards are specifically designed to keep a sufficient distance between teeth to prevent the damage that might be caused by grinding or clenching. They are made up of soft materials or hard acrylic and can fit on either your lower or upper teeth.
Dental Crowns: In cases of severe damage—where you cannot chew properly—your dentist might need to reshape the surfaces of your teeth or install dental crowns to help repair the damage.
We are a family dentistry clinic based in Bethesda. The team at Bethesda Dental Health knows how important your dental health is and hence provides only the best services to all its patients. Get in touch to know more about our services!