Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is a condition in which you clench, gnash, or grind your teeth. Often times, it is an unconscious habit, happening only during your sleep but in worse cases, it can affect your daily life. Now, there are two types of bruxism: the most common one is sleep bruxism in which a person grinds their teeth unconsciously during sleep, the other type is awake bruxism in which a person clenches or grinds their teeth while awake which can affect their daily activities for latest teeth makeover.
Sleep bruxism stems from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea and even snoring, people who have this type of bruxism are usually unaware of their situation until it has worsened.
Bruxism doesn’t start as an aggressive disorder, in fact, many people who have it may not realise it until they are told, mild bruxism at most times doesn’t require treatment however when it does interfere with their lives, such as causing constant headaches, damaged teeth and other pains, they may need to undergo surgery.
Here are the signs and symptoms of bruxism you need to know about:
Teeth grinding that can either be done unconsciously or loud enough to wake up your partner or irritate someone beside you.
Occasional earache or pain that feels like an earache
A clicking noise
Soreness in and around the jaw and neck
Disruption of your normal sleep routine
A dull or sharp headache that usually starts at your temples and may spread to other parts of your head.
Sudden “locking” of the jaw
However, bruxism isn’t limited to adults only as it is also quite common among children, especially when their teeth are only beginning to emerge and then again when their permanent teeth start to show up. Around 15%-30% of children experience bruxism at some point in their lives, however, this condition usually wears out on their own unlike in most adults.
Illnesses such as allergies, misaligned teeth, and other medical conditions are usually the causes the lead to bruxism among children
Depending on what type of bruxism the patient has or how severe it is, it’s important to pay a visit to your dentist once you notice or experience the same symptoms listed above, if left untreated, bruxism can affect your day to day activities or worse cause damage to your teeth and even mouth.
Now, most dentists will have most patients fitted with a mouth guard, now you don’t have to worry as most of these dental devices are FDA-approved and safe for human use.
A good example of such dental device is called the NTI, this helps prevent clenching especially during sleep (especially if you tend to clench or grind your teeth excessively). The NTI and other similar dental devices will help lessen the pain in your mouth, neck and jaw and ultimately lessen or prevent headaches and other similar pains.
In extreme cases, your dentist may have you undergo surgery to correct your condition.
But of course, once you are fitted with a mouth guard, this doesn’t mean that you won’t experience any more discomfort, below are the following things you can do to handle the pain.
Take pain relievers if you experience severe pain
Minimise your intake of hard foods such as chocolate bars, candy, fried chicken and many others and instead opt for soft foods. This is especially helpful in the first few weeks when you are fitted with a mouth guard..
Apply a cold or hot pack on the affected area
Have physical therapy
Adjusting your bite when eating