Solutions To A Serious Problem
Bruxism is a common condition that involves grinding, gnashing, or clenching of your teeth. Bruxism can be an unconscious reaction—many people are unaware that they’re grinding and damaging their teeth in this way. Bruxism can occur when the patient is awake, or during sleep.
Sleep bruxism may be related to other sleep disorders, such as snoring or sleep apnea.
If bruxism is mild, it may not need treatment, but should be monitored in case it gets worse. But more severe bruxism can create a number of problems, including:
- Chipped, flattened, or loose teeth
- Worn tooth enamel that may expose vulnerable layers of the tooth
- Tooth pain or sensitivity
- Jaw or neck pain
- Tired jaw muscles
- Headaches or earaches
- Cheek damage
- Disrupted sleep
Stress, age, heredity, or medications may make you more likely to have bruxism.
Bruxism can be treated in several ways. Splints and mouthguards can be used to prevent teeth from damage. If teeth are already damaged, crowns or reshaping chewing surfaces may be needed. And sometimes, discovering the underlying problem (such as stress) may alleviate the problem.