Teeth Grinding & BruxismMany people suffer from tooth grinding, and are often told so by their partner! The most common question people ask is what causes it, what damage can it do and what can be done about it?
Cause of bruxism & tooth grinding
Tooth grinding, also referred to as bruxism, is a very common problem. In fact, most people at some point in their life suffer with it. It is historically a poorly understood subject and there are many different avenues of thought as to the cause. Most recent research and evidence suggests that the neurological pathway for bruxism and teeth grinding is programmed high in the brain and we have no conscious control over it. Dentists have previously thought that it is purely related to stress, genetics and how your teeth meet together, this is not the case. Previous treatment has included braces to move teeth into an “ideal” position, or altering bites in order to make the problem less. All of these treatments have very limited success.
Symptoms of bruxism & tooth grinding
There are a number of problems which can occur due to tooth grinding and bruxism:
- Migraine and tension headaches
- Breaking of teeth and fillings
- Poor cosmetics and tooth wear
- Loose teeth
- Accelerated jaw joint (TMJ) wear
- Jaw joint pain and limited mouth opening
- Disturbed sleep pattern and fatigue
Here you can see the potential impact on cosmetics
The latest evidence from the US suggests that although bite management and braces can have a limited effect, the results are mediocre at best. The key to treatment is to accept the fact that we will never control the condition, but we CAN control the effects of the condition. Specialised bite guards can be made to wear whilst you sleep in order to prevent excessive damage. In addition to this, TENS therapy can be used alongside bite guard treatment to help relax the muscles and enhance the overall protective effect.
Our preferred TENS muscle relaxing unit is the Grindcare. It is effective at what it does and is very simple to use. Many people who suffer with bruxism feel unrested when they wake in the morning, and tend to be early risers at around 6am. If they sleep for an extra hour they can wake feeling even more fatigued. Correct treatment of bruxism and tooth grinding can help reduce all of these problems.
So whether you suffer from migraine and tension headaches, constantly breaking teeth and fillings call us now on 01302 325678 to find out more