Bruxism is a parafunctional habit that can affect children or adults of any age. It is the habitual grinding or clenching of teeth during the day and after falling asleep at night. In fact people with bruxism sometimes find themselves woken up by loud grinding sounds. Partners and family members may also report hearing you gnash your teeth repeatedly at night.
Why do People have Bruxism?
Although the exact mechanism is not known, it is believed that stress, sleep disorders etc. may be behind this habit. Your dentist can help identify this condition in its early stages by looking for wear facets on your teeth and other clinical features.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Headaches and jaw aches, especially in the morning
Clicking sound in the jaws
Sensitivity to hot and cold food/drinks
Indentations on the tongue
Managing this condition and breaking the habit can be achieved differently in different people. But most management protocols consist of the following:-
Stress relieving activities
Medication for relieving muscle spasms and pain
Muscle exercises to relax facial muscles
Custom-made nightguard to wear over your teeth at night to protect them from wear
Dental treatment for repairing fractured restorations and worn teeth
Bruxism, if not treated early, can lead to many debilitating conditions. Therefore, it is best to consult your dentist as soon as you detect the habit or find the above mentioned symptoms.