The term “night teeth grinding” or “bruxism” refers to the non-nutritive, repetitive, involuntary manducatory activity, which is most often unconscious. There are two distinct grinding forms of the teeth:
- Centered bruxism: it is about a clenching of the teeth. Most of the time it takes place during the day, and this squeeze is usually silent.
- Eccentric bruxism: it is, in this case, the grinding of teeth. This form is rather nocturnal and audible by a third party.
How is Bruxism defined?
Bruxism is not a “disease”, Bruxism is a “parafunction” more than a disease. The term parafunction refers to an activity, an unconscious movement that is exercised without a specific goal. In the oral sphere, any activity outside the normal function (swallowing, chewing, for example) is considered a parafunction. Everyone can be touched by bruxism. Bruxism affects both children and adults, regardless of gender. It is estimated that 8% of adults and 14% of children cringe several times a week. However, the proportion decreases with age.
How is risky teeth grinding can be?
Causes and risk factors differ from person to person. Stress and anxiety are considered to be the main causes of bruxism which also leads to headache. Some events during the day would affect the nocturnal activity of the masticatory muscles.
Nearest dentist at the dental clinic put forward a psychosomatic theory and see it as “the dental expression of the inner suffering of the individual”. In some cases, it may be an acquired reflex or tic disorder. Bruxism can also be secondary to identified problems: such as neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders (eg, post-traumatic stress disorder) or pharmacological disorders.
What are its consequences?
Consequences for oral health and general health Bruxism has an impact on the teeth: fractures and wear of the teeth, dental hypersensitivity:
- On the periodontium (around the tooth): Bruxism does not cause periodontal disease alone. However, excessive forces will aggravate bone loss and dental mobility.
- The teeth can get fractured, flattened, loose or chipped
- Masticatory muscles and mandibular joints: hypertrophy and pain.
- On the general health also, one notices an impact in certain patients: one associates bruxism with various pathologies.
- Difficult to determine if it is the cause or the consequence: obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, gastroesophageal reflux, headache, etc.
Signs that can alert teeth grinding:
At the level of the teeth, some signs do not deceive wear, fractures, pain difficult to locate, mobility, hypersensitivity.
In the jaw, masticatory muscles and the joint:
The patient experiences waking pains if the masticatory muscles have been contracted during sleep and may suffer from headaches. In the case of nocturnal grinding of the teeth, the noise can alert the sleeping person to the side.
Headaches and teeth grinding problem:
If previously we could think that headaches and tooth grinding are two things that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, we must now understand that if you often suffer from tension headaches, and, since quite a long time.
This is of course information that must be included in your medical file when you visit the dentist by searching for a dental clinic near me.
Several other symptoms such as:
- Pains felt in the head and/or neck,
- Jaw joint that is sore or creaky,
- The difficulty for chewing,
- Dental sensitivity or pains felt in the face.
What is the exact relationship between headaches and teeth grinding problems?
Static occlusion is how the upper teeth fit together with the lower teeth to have as many points of contact as possible, especially when the mouth is closed. If there is an occlusion problem, such as an incorrect fit, this may result in abnormal tension in the muscles connected to the temples. These muscles have an important role in the positioning of the jaws, hence tensions into headaches.
Also, an occlusion problem can cause an imbalance of the jaws during chewing. This promotes deterioration as well as inflammation of the joint. If a nerve is affected, it can lead to tension headaches. Also, if the occlusion disorder is not corrected, muscles in this area of the head may remain contracted over long periods.
This situation can generate a lack of oxygen and an accumulation of toxic waste which will, in turn, cause circulatory disorders and therefore, headaches.
Usual Treatment Procedures
In many cases, when the bruxism occurs you don’t need treatments. The kids often outgrow their clenching of teeth as they grow up while many adults don’t clench their teeth so bad that they need therapy.
Nevertheless, if the issue is severe the options can include certain dental therapies and medications like the following
- Mouthguards and Splints
- Dental Correction
The other approaches that can relieve the bruxism are as follows –
- Management of Stress and Anxiety
- Change of Behavior
Certain medications can also assist you with the approach –
- Botox Injections
- Muscle Relaxants
- Medication for Stress or Anxiety
Apart from these, treating the associated conditions can also help you get relief like –
- Sleep-related disorders
- Other Medical Conditions
If you grind your teeth going to the nearest dentist and treating this problem as soon as possible will help you to pick the right treatment plan.