Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. It most often occurs in people with malocclusion. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake or clench or grind them during sleep, which is out of your control.

Oral health specialists often point to too much stress and certain personality types as causes of bruxism. Bruxism often affects people with nervous tension, such as anger, pain, or frustration. It also affects people with aggressive, hurried, or overly competitive tendencies. There is some proof that in some people, bruxism is caused by an imbalance in brain neurotransmitters. Also, some medicines, such as the antidepressants fluoxetine and paroxetine, can cause bruxism.

Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
  • Dull headache starting in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Sleep disruption

Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems. See your dentist or doctor if you have any of the symptoms or have other concerns about your teeth or jaw.

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bruksizm - zgrzytanie zębami - szyna relaksacyjna - 2 - wiedza - blog - klinika stomatologiczna Poznań Materna Dental
bruksizm - zgrzytanie zębami - szyna relaksacyjna - 3 - wiedza - blog - klinika stomatologiczna Poznań Materna Dental

Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.

Nowadays, special relaxing occlusal splints or mouth guards are used, which are put on at night to eliminate grinding. These are designed to keep teeth separated to avoid damage caused by clenching and grinding. They can be constructed of hard acrylic or soft materials and fit over your upper or lower teeth.

Other approaches include: stress or anxiety management – by learning strategies that promote relaxation, such as meditation and mindfulness or behavior change – by practicing proper mouth or jaw position (ask your dentist to show you). You should also avoid stimulating substances in the evening: don’t drink caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee after dinner and avoid alcohol during the evening, as they may worsen bruxism. Getting a good night’s sleep, which may include treatment for sleep problems, may also help reduce the problem.

At Materna Dental clinic we are pleased to offer relaxing splints and mouthguards, which are custom-made to your specifications.

Occlusal splint is the most clinically effective treatment for bruxism and medically diagnosed migraines. Made of a durable plastic, it is designed to sit over your lower two front teeth, acting as a barrier to contact between the upper and lower teeth. It works by eliminating the contact between your back teeth and thereby reducing the contraction intensity of your muscles by 70%. They are custom-made to your specifications and can be fitted by your dentist during your appointment.

To find out more about relaxing splints or mouthguards, please book a consultation today.

Another novel method of treating bruxism is Botox, a popular cosmetic treatment that can help to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. The procedure is simple and relatively painless, and it can provide dramatic results. Botox, a form of botulinum toxin, is injected into the muscles of the jaw, causing them to relax and reducing the amount of grinding that takes place.