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

  • Facial pain

  • Toothache

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold food/drinks

  • Cracked teeth/fillings

  • Indentations on the tongue

  • Insomnia 

Treating Bruxism

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.

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