Bruxism

Bruxism (“gnashing of teeth”) is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw.

It is an oral parafunctional activity that occurs in most humans at some time in their lives.

In most people, bruxism is mild enough not to be a health problem. While bruxism may be a diurnal or nocturnal activity, it is bruxism during sleep that causes the majority of health issues and can even occur during short naps. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders

During sleep, the subconscious processes become active, while the higher control is inactive, resulting in bruxism. Some bruxism activity is rhythmic (like chewing), and some is sustained (clenching). Researchers classify bruxism as “a habitual behavior, and a sleep disorder.

It is theorized that certain medical conditions can trigger bruxism, including digestive ailments and anxiety.


Symptoms

Patients may present with a variety of symptoms including

  • Anxiety, stress, and tension
  • Depression
  • Earache
  • Eating disorders
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Sore or painful jaw

 

Treatment

There is no single accepted cure for bruxism. However, treatments are available.

Bruxism may be reduced or even eliminated when the associated factors, e.g., sleep disorders, are treated successfully.

*Mouthguards and splints

*Nociceptive trigeminal inhibitor

*Dietary supplements : There is anecdotal evidence that suggests taking certain combinations of dietary supplements may alleviate bruxism; pantothenic acid, magnesium and calcium are mentioned on dietary supplement websites. Calcium is known to be a treatment for gastric problems, and gastric problems such as acid reflux are known to increase bruxism.

*Repairing damage : Damaged teeth can be repaired by replacing the worn natural crown of the tooth with prosthetic crowns. Materials used to make crowns vary; some are less prone to breaking than others and can last longer. Porcelain fused to metal crowns may be used in the anterior (front) of the mouth; in the posterior, full gold crowns are preferred To protect the new crowns and dental implants, an occlusal guard should be fabricated to wear during sleep.

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