Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders and causes most of its damage during sleeping hours. The clenching and grinding which accompanies bruxism is symptomatic of a malfunctioning chewing reflex, which is turned off in non-sufferers when sleeping. For sufferers, deep sleep or even naps cause the reflex nerve control center in the brain to turn off and the reflex pathways to become active.
Typically, the incisors and canines (front six upper and lower teeth) of opposing arches grind against each other laterally. This side to side action puts undue strain on the medial pterygoid muscles and the temporomandibular joints. Earache, depression, headaches, eating disorders, and anxiety are among the most common symptoms of bruxism; these symptoms also accompany health issues such as chronic stress, Alzheimer’s disease, and alcohol abuse.
Bruxism is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, because it is only one of several potential causes of tooth wear. Only a trained professional can tell the difference between bruxism wear and wear caused by overly aggressive brushing, acidic soft drinks, and abrasive foods.
A BiteStrip® is an economical device used to diagnose bruxism at home. The device itself is a small electromyography which senses and monitors any activity in the jaw muscles during sleep. The frequency and severity of the condition can then be assessed, and the best treatment plan can be formulated.
Here are some of the main reasons why bruxism should be promptly treated:
There is no single cure for bruxism, though a variety of helpful devices and tools are available. Here are some common ways in which bruxism is treated:
Other methods of treatment include relaxation exercises, stress management education, and biofeedback mechanisms. When the bruxing is under control, there are a variety of dental procedures such as crowns, gum grafts, and crown lengthening that can restore a pleasant aesthetic appearance to the smile.
One key piece of our Bridgewater dental practice's success is our focus on building a foundation of trust with our patients. We understand that each patient is a unique individual with a variety of needs, and we know that some patients can feel uneasy about their dental visits. We also know that creating a relaxing and positive experience is vitally important to patient satisfaction. Our compassionate team is dedicated to providing you with personalized care to make your consultations as comfortable and pleasant as possible. We truly thank you for allowing us to handle your dental care needs and we look forward to meeting you soon!