Bruxism is the involuntary clenching and grinding of the teeth. When a person has sleep bruxism, they grind their teeth while they are still asleep. Bruxism during sleep is most common in children, teenagers, and young adults, but it can affect anyone.
While asleep, people can exert up to 250 pounds of strain on their teeth, which can wear down the teeth, produce pain in the jaw and neck, and lead to long-term temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
Teeth grinding can’t be cured, but there are ways to lessen its frequency, lessen its impact, and alleviate symptoms. In addition, there are some helpful hints for dealing with snoring bruxism at home.
What is Bruxism?
It is also known as bruxism, which is when you unintentionally clench or grind your teeth while you are awake or asleep. Tooth grinding has been linked to a 40% increase in fractured teeth, according to experts.
Awake bruxism is distinct from sleep bruxism. Anxiety, stress, and sleep apnoea can all contribute to sleep bruxism, which is the habitual grinding of teeth while you’re asleep.
Stress or worry, such as the pressure of a project deadline, can cause daytime teeth grinding, even if you aren’t aware of it. In order to tell if you’re grinding your teeth, how do you know?
Teeth Grinding Symptoms
The most prevalent signs of teeth grinding are headaches and discomfort in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), according to the Bruxism Association. Those who grind their teeth are three times more likely to get headaches, according to the Bruxism Association.
Oral indications such as irregular tooth wear, cracked teeth, irritation, and gingival recession are often companions to these symptoms.
- Due to the loss of tooth enamel, the teeth become more sensitive.
- Soreness or tightness around the jaw
- Teeth that are chipped or missing
- a throbbing pain in the temples
Many of the symptoms of bruxism and tooth grinding are similar to those of other medical diseases. Because teeth clenching or grinding is common during sleep, it may be difficult to tell if you’re doing it. If you have any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about them.
How Bruxism Impacts Your Oral Health
Clenching force can be substantially higher when you grind or clench your teeth as you sleep, according to a recent study in The Journal of Conservative Dentistry. When you’re eating, the food acts as a cushion between your mouth and your teeth. With sleep bruxism, the full force is on your teeth. Bruxism can lead to the following outcomes:
- Tooth sensitivity is caused by the enamel and dentin on the teeth being worn away.
- Teeth, bridgework, or implants that have been cracked or chipped
- Sensitivity of the teeth
- Teeth that hurt or are loose
- Jaw clenching causes facial pain.
Teeth Grinding Causes
There are numerous reasons why you may be grinding your teeth. Here are a few plausible explanations:
Snoring, Sleep-Talking, and Sleep Apnea
Bruxism can be caused by snoring, sleep talking, or even sleep apnea. During the night, your breathing is affected by sleep apnea, which interrupts your sleep. Diagnosis and therapy can be obtained by consulting with a medical professional.
Stress, Anger, and Anxiety Can Cause Bruxism
Anger, anxiety, frustration, and stress are four primary reasons people may grind their teeth as a coping method. Stress is mainly linked the most to bruxism, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Exercise releases endorphins that decrease stress. Specific relaxation methods like listening to music, taking walks, and taking a warm bath are also helpful.
Lifestyle Can Contribute to Bruxism in Adults
Anxiety, frustration, and stress are four of the most common causes of people to grind their teeth as a coping mechanism. According to the American Dental Association, stress is the primary cause of bruxism (ADA). Endorphins, which are released during physical activity, help to alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. Listening to music, going for a stroll, or taking a warm bath are all good ways to unwind.
Medications and Disorders Can Lead to Bruxism
Anxiety, irritation, and stress are four of the most common reasons people grind their teeth. According to the American Dental Association, bruxism is mostly linked to stress (ADA). Physical activity releases endorphins, which reduce tension. Relaxation aids including music, walks, and a hot bath are also effective. Relaxation aids like these can help you unwind.
People who snore or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from bruxism than those who do not.
When Should You See a Doctor About Sleep Bruxism?
If you’re experiencing discomfort in your mouth, jaw, or neck as a result of teeth grinding, make an appointment with your dentist or doctor right once. To avoid more serious difficulties down the road, it is important to seek the advice of a medical practitioner.
Additionally, a doctor or dentist can determine whether your teeth grinding is linked to more serious diseases, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which may require additional testing or treatment.
Treatments for Sleep Bruxism
It is possible to treat sleep bruxism with a variety of approaches, including medication, behavioral therapy, and behavioral modification.
A dentist or doctor is the best person to talk to about how to best treat your teeth grinding problem, even if you can take some simple steps at home.
Managing Pain and Other Symptoms
Teeth clenching and grinding during the night can strain the mouth and jaw and irritate muscles in the neck. Sleep bruxism can be alleviated by reducing this pain.
Home Care Tips for Coping With Sleep Bruxism
Several home care tips can help prevent and address irritation of the teeth, jaw, and neck from sleep bruxism:
- There are a few things you may do at home to avoid or alleviate the discomfort that comes with teeth grinding when you’re trying to sleep:
- It is possible to alleviate or prevent sleep bruxism-related pain by following a few simple self-care guidelines:
- Don’t suck on a piece of gum
- To get better neck and head support, you may want to adjust your sleeping position or pillow.
- When you’re in pain, try using a warm compress or a cold pack.
Mouth Exercises To Cope With Sleep Bruxism
Pain relief and increased jaw mobility can both be achieved through a variety of mouth exercises.
The following are the stages to a relaxation technique that has been demonstrated to ease the muscles involved in tooth grinding:
- Gently close your mouth while avoiding your teeth from contacting at the top and bottom.
- Your tongue should not touch your teeth during this second step.
- Continue to maintain this position for the duration of your performance.
Another exercise aims to improve jaw mobility:
- Place your hands on the TMJ joints as the first step (where the lower jaw connects)
- Continue by opening your mouth slowly.
- Keeping your mouth open for 5 to 10 seconds is the third step in the process.
- In the fourth and last step, slowly shut your mouth.
- Do this three times a day for a total of three 10-minute workouts.
Relaxing and stretching the muscles used in teeth grinding and clenching can be accomplished with a few minutes of these exercises, done several times a day.
Talk to your doctor or dentist about developing a specific exercise plan. Making use of the physical therapist’s expertise in devising mouth exercises can be a rewarding experience. This can help you avoid injury and maximize muscle relaxation by ensuring that you perform the exercises correctly.
Head-and-neck massages can help alleviate muscle tension and pain spots caused by teeth grinding in some patients. In some cases, a massage therapist or physical therapist may provide massage or demonstrate techniques that can be done at home to relax the jaw and adjacent muscles.
Medical and Dental Treatments for Sleep Bruxism
Sleep bruxism does not require treatment for everyone, but if symptoms such as frequent headaches and jaw pain in the morning, a lack of restful sleep, or long-term damage to teeth are preventing you from getting adequate rest, you should look into several treatment options.
Wearing a night guard or dental splint (sometimes known as a mouthguard) can help prevent teeth grinding. Depending on the design, these mouthpieces can either retain the jaw in a fixed position or act as a barrier to reduce the amount of tooth wear and tear caused by grinding. Mouthguards that leave the jaw slightly open allow the masseter muscles (the muscles that chew) to rest comfortably during the night. Depending on the patient’s needs, mouth guards can cover all of the upper or lower teeth, or simply a portion of the mouth.
Those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea or chronic snoring may benefit from a mandibular advancement device (MAD), another form of mouthpiece. To keep the airway open and limit tooth grinding in some circumstances, MADs are held in place by teeth and push the lower jaw forward. When sleep apnea and bruxism are present, this is commonly employed.
There are some over-the-counter mouthguards and MADs available that can be modified to fit your mouth, but many patients obtain custom mouthpieces that are moulded by a dental professional instead.
Even though mouthguards cannot cure sleep bruxism, they can diminish its impact, reduce wear and tear on teeth, alleviate morning headaches, and improve the quality of sleep.
Because stress is a typical cause of teeth grinding, it makes sense to use relaxation techniques to alleviate the problem. Relaxation techniques can be an important aspect of good sleep hygiene, and improved sleep can help people cope with stress in a more healthy manner.
Medications may be considered by a healthcare provider in some circumstances where traditional treatment has failed. Oral appliances may or may not be effective in treating bruxism. Teeth grinding can be treated with a variety of drugs, including botox injections. These drugs aim to reduce facial muscle activation. Before beginning any bruxism treatment, talk to your doctor about the potential dangers and benefits.
Tips for Bed Partners of People Who Grind Their Teeth
The sound of teeth grinding can keep people awake at night, preventing them from obtaining the rest they need. This can be avoided and better sleep achieved by following a few simple guidelines:
- Promoting the visit to the dentist or the doctor for their partner
- In order to reduce the noise of teeth grinding, you can wear ear plugs or headphones
- Teeth grinding can be hidden by using a fan or a white noise machine to create ambient noise.
The medical term for the habitual clenching and grinding of teeth is bruxism. Typically, this occurs while a person is resting at night. Bruxism affects people of all ages, but it is most common in children, teens, and young adults.
At night, while a person is clenching their jaws, they can exert up to 250 pounds of pressure on their teeth! It is inevitable that their teeth will begin to wear down over time, resulting in pain and discomfort. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is also a typical complication for patients, as are jaw and neck pain, headaches, and long-term issues with the joint (TMJ).
There is no cure that will completely stop bruxism, but treatment with your Washington Heights dental clinic can reduce the frequency of teeth grinding, ease its severity, and relieve symptoms.
When Should You See a Doctor About Sleep Bruxism?
There is no cure for bruxism, but therapy at your Washington Heights dental office can lessen the frequency of teeth grinding, ease its intensity, and alleviate its symptoms.
What Treatments Are Available For Teeth Grinding?
When it comes to treating bruxism, there are many options. Your dentist in Washington Heights, New York, may recommend that you wear an oral appliance at night to keep your upper and lower teeth apart. Therapies for pain management and physical therapy for TMJ disorders may also be prescribed if necessary, as well as specific treatments for any symptoms you are experiencing.
Home Care Tips To Relieve Clenching Teeth Symptoms
In order to alleviate symptoms, soothe discomfort, and minimize the severity of teeth grinding, here are some home remedies to try.
- Hard foods such as nuts, popcorn, and hard sweets should not put too much strain on your jaw and teeth.
- Caramels, peanut butter, and other difficult-to-chew foods should be avoided.
- Don’t chew gum because it adds strain to your TMJ and other muscles
- Chewing gum can strain your TMJ and other muscles, so avoid it at all costs.
- Don’t chew gum because it can strain your TMJ and other muscles.
- Ask your doctor or dentist in Washington Heights for a referral to a physical therapist for physical therapy. Learning some specific exercises to relax and stretch the muscles involved with teeth grinding can relieve a lot of strain. You’ll be able to perform the exercises correctly and get a customized treatment plan if you work one-on-one with a specialist.
- Request a recommendation from your doctor or dentist in Washington Heights, New York, for physical therapy. Teeth grinding sufferers may find that learning a few simple exercises to stretch and relax the muscles engaged in the habit is a huge help. Your treatment plan will be more tailored to your needs if it’s done in tandem with a specialist.
Bruxism Medical & Dental Treatments
Even if you have bruxism and wake up frequently with headaches and jaw pain, your sleep is unrefreshing, or you have tooth damage as a result of grinding your teeth at night, you may benefit from treatment.
When worn at night to avoid teeth grinding, mouthguards are an effective dental implant. To prevent tooth damage, they either hold the jaw in place or create a barrier that prevents it from happening in the first place. Additionally, mouthguards can position the jaw slightly open, allowing the muscles of chewing to relax as you sleep. Ask your Washington Heights dental clinic which style would be ideal for you as there are many to choose from. A wide variety of mouthguards are available over the counter and can be molded to fit your teeth, but custom mouthguards produced by your dentist are also popular. Not only may mouthguards lessen the damage to your teeth, but they can also help you sleep better and keep morning headaches at bay.
Reduce Stress To Help You Get Better Sleep
Stress can cause teeth grinding, and many people find relief by learning relaxation techniques and reducing their overall stress levels. Many people with bruxism have trouble sleeping, and stress reduction techniques may be able to assist them do so.
Measures To Take Into Account For Bruxism Medication
Medications are an option in extreme situations that don’t react well to other forms of treatment. However, each has its own drawbacks and may not work. The most common treatment for bruxism is Botox injections, which may reduce muscular activity in the face and jaw. Before beginning any medicine, be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
Visit a Professional Dental Care Office In Washington Heights
You may have a beautiful, healthy smile with the help of Esthetix Dental Spa’s comprehensive selection of cosmetic and cleaning services! At our conveniently located dental office in Washington Heights, you’ll find a team of highly regarded dentists dedicated to your comfort, convenience, and well-being. To get started on the path to a better smile, call our office today.
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