How do you know that you are grinding your teeth? The Symptoms
Teeth grinding often occurs during sleep, so most people are unaware of it until told by their dentist. A very common symptom is a headache. There are other symptoms too:
The oral health is adversely affected by bruxism and it might result in fracture or tooth loss.
If you think you might be grinding your teeth, speak to your dentist Smiles by Design. He will examine your mouth for signs of bruxism and suggest remedies to save your teeth from adversities.
How does grinding affect your teeth? - The Disadvantages
There are many disadvantages of bruxism such as pain, headache, tooth fracturing, loosening, or loss of your pearly whites. Chronic clenching wears these dental structures down and even changes the appearance of your face.
Eventually, it means you will damage your teeth and may need bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, or even complete dentures.
The patients mostly seek treatment when the pain extends to the ears or when your oral doctor detects the symptoms of grinding.
How Can We Prevent Bruxism?
Bruxism and grinding must be stopped and prevented to protect your teeth and jawline. The most common remedies are:
Treatment for Bruxism
The below approaches may bring you relief from bruxism:
1. Behavior Changes- Once you know that you have bruxism, you should practice maintaining a stable mouth and jaw position. Your dentist can help you teach the best position for your mouth and jaw.
2. Biofeedback- In case you are having a difficult time changing your habits, you may use biofeedback, a remedy that uses monitoring processes and equipment to make you learn to control the muscle activity in your jaw.
3. Medication- Muscle relaxants can help you relax your jaw and stop grinding while sleeping. If you consume antidepressants you might need to change your prescription. Your doctor can give you other drugs that don't come with the risk of bruxism.
4. Procedures: In severe cases, botox injections are used to paralyze the jaw muscles that are utilized during teeth grinding. This treatment may not be approved in some countries but is proven safe, very effective, and preserves the appearance of the face.
5. Stress Management- Your psychologist can identify the triggers for your anxiety and deal with them through stress management and relaxation techniques.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
According to the Bruxism Association, the causes are:
Studies have shown that teeth grinding is found more commonly in people who snore at night or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
It has been found that most teeth clenchers do it due to stress. The treatment approach is based on addressing the underlying causes of stress.
At Smiles by Design, we encourage patients to try and reinvent themselves and separate the habit of teeth-grinding from the stresses that may be causing it- maybe work or personal situations.
It is not about avoiding the stress that is part of a normal life, but how to protect your physical body from being harmed.