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What is dental bruxism (Teeth grinding)?

teeth griding bruxism

Tooth wear due to bruxism is a growing problem that, according to official data, affects more than 40% of Mexicans and 10 – 20% of the American population. But what is bruxism, what are the signs and symptoms? And just as important, how do we know if we suffer from bruxism tooth sensitivity

At SOFDental we provide the information available to raise awareness of this problem and offer immediate solutions of the best quality.

Contenido

What is dental bruxism?

Bruxism is a disorder that consists of grinding the teeth or unconsciously clenching the jaw. This can occur at night as well as during the day, being more frequent during sleep.

In most cases, the affected person is not aware of this problem until someone else hears them grinding their teeth (usually at night) or the dentist reports the condition after a routine dental check-up.

This happens because the dental wear due to bruxism is evident due to the constant and unnecessary effort that arises from the involuntary movement. Hence the importance of regular check-ups with dental and oral hygiene specialists. 

Causes of bruxism

síntomas del bruxismo sofdental
Síntomas del Bruxismo SOFDental

As for the possible causes of bruxism, there are different theories that include internal and external factors. However, there is no exact cause of this dental health problem. Therefore, the evidence suggests considering aspects such as:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Substance use
  • Improper alignment of teeth
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Improper sleeping posture. 

Symptoms

Symptoms and signs of bruxism may include:

  • Grinding or clenching your teeth, making a loud sound
  • Fractured, loose or flattened teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity and enamel wear
  • Tired or stiff jaw muscles
  • Headache and swelling of the jaw, neck, or face
  • Sleep disturbance.

What happens if bruxism is not taken care of?

In the long term, bruxism can be detrimental to the patient’s health. Therefore, in addition to the symptoms already mentioned above, we can also mention the following problems:

  • Acute hypersensitivity: Grinding the teeth produces severe wear and tear and subsequently, pain in the jaw area that translates into hypersensitivity to water.
  • Dental Sensitivity: To cold, heat and sweet foods
  • Severe pain: Pain may spread to key areas of the neck, ears, and head.
  • Insomnia: The general discomfort produced by bruxism can cause difficulties and problems to sleep peacefully.

If the problem of bruxism is not corrected in time, it can cause other pathologies or severe articular alterations that, in turn, end up in maxillary disjunction, such as trismus, and painful muscular contracture.

How is bruxism treated in adults?

tratamiento bruxismo dental en sofdental
Tratamiento Bruxismo Dental en SOFDental

The diagnosis and therefore the appropriate treatment depends entirely on the professional experience of a dentist. He or she will evaluate the teeth and determine the level of tooth wear and, based on this, make the correct diagnosis and recommend treatment.

Typically, the dentist will assess the possible physical and psychological causes to consider solutions to reduce teeth grinding, prevent progressive tooth wear, eliminate pain and avoid permanent damage.

In the face of the problem, treatment usually includes:

  • Occlusal guards: Especially if nocturnal bruxism is diagnosed. In this case, the specialist recommends the use of an occlusal splint to prevent teeth grinding during the night and the progressive wear of the teeth. This consists of a prosthesis fitted to the denture.
  • Prosthetic rehabilitation: For advanced cases that require special attention. For this, due to dental wear and the reduction of the vertical dimension with respect to the temporomandibular joint, it is recommended to rehabilitate the dental pieces to recover the articular position.

For more information, contact us. At SOFDental we have everything you need for the diagnosis and correct treatment of dental diseases.

Dr Martin

By: Dr. Martín Ramírez
Dental Surgeon at SOFDental.

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