Do you sometimes wake up with a headache or with pain in the jaw area? Do your teeth become more sensitive to food or cold drinks? Does your spouse/partner complain themselves of grinding noise at night? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then you probably suffer from bruxism.
Bruxism is a frequent condition which affects millions of people. It is characterized by a squeezing or grinding of teeth. It is often an unconscious habit that happens during sleep. Although more rare, it may also be observed during the day, when the person is awake. In the last case, it is easier to control since you can relax your jaw when you feel that your muscles are tense and strained.
Several factors can cause someone to suffer from bruxism. Here are some:
- Sleep apnea (obstruction of the respiratory tract)
- A period of stress/anxiety
- Occusal imbalance of the teeth
The signs and symptoms include:
- Wake up with headaches and pain to the jaw
- Wear of the teeth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Exposure of tooth roots
- Cracks or dental fractures
What are the recommended treatments?
Treating bruxism can be complicated. It is first necessary to find the underlying cause. If we suspect that you suffer from sleep apnea, we suggest you undergo a sleep test.
A occlusal plate can be placed on your teeth to protect against excessive wear caused by bruxism. It will not prevent you from gnashing but the goal is the preservation of the structure of your teeth. Rehabilitating worn out teeth can be long and complicated, and particularly costly.
Avoid unnecessary hassle and wear your occlusal plate!
Here are some pictures showing wear and dental cracks caused by bruxism: