Bruxism is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth. It is often related to stress and anxiety. Most of the people who do teeth grinding and jaw clenching may not be aware of it. Bruxism also occurs while sleeping.
The exact cause of bruxism is unclear. Bruxism is thought to occur due to a combination of physical, psychological and genetic factors. It is often associated with the following:
- Sleep problems
- Side effects of certain medications
- Alcohol intake
Symptoms of bruxism includes:
- Ear pain
- Facial pain
- Broken teeth
- Increased teeth sensitivity
- Pain and stiffness in jaw joints
- Sleep disruption
Diagnosis is usually made on regular dental exams.
There are no known exact measures to prevent bruxism.
Most cases of bruxism do not require treatment. Treatment depends mostly on the cause of the condition and is usually required if the problem is severe. Treatment options include:
- Use of splints and mouthguards in order to keep teeth separated which helps in avoiding damage caused by clenching and grinding.
- Stress and anxiety management may be recommended if bruxism occurs due to stress and anxiety.
- Biofeedback: it is a method that uses monitoring procedures and equipment to teach you to control muscle activity in your jaw.
- Treating associated disorders such as sleep disorders and acid reflux is another option in the treatment of bruxism.
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