Bruxism: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Bruxism is defined as the involuntary action of unconsciously clicking or clenching the teeth, its occurrence is almost random, and can occur at any time of the day and even for a prolonged period of time. Bruxism can cause headache, jaw, neck, and ear pain and others. The causes of bruxism can be diverse, such as stress, anxiety, sleep problems, or dental malocclusion.

Treatment depends on the severity and frequency of the episodes and may include the use of dental splints, relaxation exercises, medication, or psychological therapy. Next, we detail everything related to this annoying dental disease.

Possible causes of bruxism

Clinically, the exact cause of bruxism is not known, but it may be related to genetic, psychological, physical, or environmental factors, such as stress, anxiety, irregular sleep, abnormal alignment of the teeth, or the intake of alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco. Next, we point out some of the possible conjectures for its cause:

  • Emotional stress: Negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, frustration or tension can cause people to unconsciously or voluntarily clench or grind their teeth.
  • Sleep activity: Nocturnal bruxism may be related to chewing movements that occur during sleep and are associated with certain stages of the sleep cycle.
  • Genetic factors: Bruxism may have a hereditary predisposition, that is, it is transmitted from parents to children.
  • Dental factors: Some dental problems, such as misaligned teeth, ill-fitting crowns, or dentures, can alter the bite and favor bruxism.
  • Medical factors: Bruxism may be associated with some diseases or disorders, such as gastroesophageal reflux, sleep apnea, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson’s disease, or the use of certain medications.

Symptoms of bruxism

The most common symptoms of bruxism are headache, jaw, neck, or shoulder pain; wear or fracture of the teeth; tooth sensitivity; inflammation of the gums; difficulty opening or closing the mouth; noises when moving the jaw; and sleep disturbances. Bruxism can have several causes, such as stress, anxiety, dental problems, sleep disorders, or eating habits. It is important to see a dentist if bruxism is suspected, as it can affect oral and general health.

Treatment of Bruxism

The tratamiento del bruxismo depends on the severity and frequency of the problem. Some options include the use of mouth guards or splints to prevent contact between the teeth, cognitive behavioral therapy to manage stress or anxiety, relaxation exercises for the jaw, medicines to relax muscles or reduce pain, and correction of dental alignment through orthodontics or surgery.

When people ask for advice about teeth grinding, they learn that it happens when you press or move your teeth back and forth too much. It is a disease that can cause different scales of pain, it originates from clenching or grinding the teeth, and it can cause dental wear and problems in the temporomandibular joint. The treatment of bruxism depends on the cause and the symptoms that each person presents.

Specific treatments for different cases of bruxism

  • Use of mouth guards or splints to prevent contact between the teeth and reduce dental damage.
  • Medication change or dose adjustment if bruxism is a side effect of any drug.
  • Treatment of sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnea, which can cause nocturnal bruxism.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy or relaxation techniques to manage stress and anxiety, which are triggers for bruxism.
  • Home remedies such as applying ice or moist heat to the jaw, avoiding very hard or sticky foods, doing facelifts, and massaging the muscles of the face and neck.

Bruxism treatment must be personalized and supervised by an oral health professional, who will be able to assess the severity of the problem and recommend the best solution for each case. There are dental clinics specialized in these types of cases, which require advanced experience and knowledge to correctly determine the diagnosis of the patient. For más información, you can visit their website and learn about their procedures and costs.

Richard Maxwell

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