The bruxism is a disease that involves the involuntary grinding of the teeth , especially during sleep, and increasingly affects a larger percentage of the population because their main cause, stress .
People who suffer from bruxism strongly press the upper teeth with the lower teeth and move the teeth from back to front and vice versa, in a sudden, intense and, in most cases, involuntary way.
Symptoms and problems it causes
As it is an involuntary act, there are many people who are not aware that they suffer from this disease and, in many cases, it is detected in an ordinary visit to the dentist. It is also often the case that someone else is the one who alerts the affected person to the noise they make when they grind their teeth at night.
In any case, the dentist will carry out a clinical interview with the patient, an examination and a radiographic study, to determine the degree of intensity of the disease.
Excessive pressure on the teeth and different structures around the jaw can lead to a number of symptoms, such as the following:
- Occasional headache
- Ear and jaw pain .
- Neck and facial pain , including muscle contractures.
- Dental hypersensitivity to certain cold, hot or sweet foods and drinks.
- Wear of teeth and fractures or fissures.
- Mood disturbances, such as irritation and anxiety .
- Swallowing and breathing problems.
- Insomnia .
Causes of bruxism
There are many specialists who coincide in highlighting stress as the main cause of bruxism. However, it has also been observed that poor tooth placement can contribute to the onset of the disease. Other causes that are considered as triggers of bruxism are:
- The type of feeding.
- An incorrect body posture.
- Bad sleep habits.
- Difficulty relaxing.
- Excess consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
- The habit of smoking.
The most common treatment in patients suffering from bruxism consists of the use of discharge splints or dental protectors , usually during the night rest period; Although, depending on the case, it will also be used during the day.
It is a transparent cover in the shape of the upper denture, which is placed over it to avoid friction of the teeth and reduce the pressure exerted on the jaw.
This method is effective in the short term and manages to relieve, mainly, the symptoms related to muscle aches and headaches. However, the splint does not solve the root problem, so the symptoms of bruxism can reappear, if the treatment is stopped.
Another method that is used, in some cases of patients with bruxism, consists of performing orthodontics . In this way, it is intended to correct the alignment of the teeth and fix the poor placement of the teeth.
If you have been suffering from the disease for a long period of time, it is possible that the dental wear is severe and the nerve of the tooth begins to be seen. In these cases, it will be necessary to carry out a more intense rehabilitation treatment through root canals and the placement of prostheses .
Apart from the treatments that a dental professional must apply, there are a series of recommendations that can help the person who suffers from bruxism, to alleviate the symptoms and avoid further damage:
- Applying ice or moist heat to the area where the pain occurs. This will also help lower inflation.
- Avoid hard and sweet foods.
- Get massages on your face, neck, and shoulders.
- Perform relaxation exercises for the muscles of the face and jaw.
- Avoid chewing gum.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Sleep the hours necessary for a proper rest.
It is also important to bear in mind that, since the main causes of bruxism are anxiety and stress , it is essential to try to combat them by learning to relax and eliminating the tension accumulated in the day to day.
The conducting regular physical activity is essential to deal with these problems and especially disciplines such as yoga or Pilates can contribute more effectively. Getting professional relaxing massages on a regular basis will also help relieve muscle tension caused by stress.
Bruxism in children
It is possible to detect bruxism in children between the ages of four and six, although it usually disappears over the years. The dentist will also be in charge of diagnosing and treating the disease.
In children, the reasons for bruxism are not specifically known, but it is also often attributed to states of emotional stress, anxiety, incorrect posture when sleeping, and even certain parasites or undetected disorders.
The use of dental protectors is usually the most used treatment in minors, although it is also recommended that the child does not perform strenuous exercises or watch violent programs on television.
A bath before going to sleep will help to improve the problem during the night. In addition, it is advisable to change the child’s position while sleeping, if we detect the noise of the teeth grinding.
All these tips and recommendations are essential to prevent the disease from affecting the well-being of the affected person, but a correct and early diagnosis by the dental professional is essential to achieve an effective and definitive treatment .
Given the suspicion of suffering from bruxism, whether in adults or children, the main thing is to go to the dentist, who will be in charge of providing all the solutions to the problem. There is no generic solution for this problem , so it will be the specialist who will advise us on the best option, depending on the case.
Since the disease does not always show symptoms, it is especially important to make an annual visit to the dentist . In this way, if you are suffering from bruxism and are not aware of it, the early diagnosis will avoid unnecessary suffering and the appearance of the annoying symptoms of the disease.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.