Bruxism or teeth grinding is an unconscious action that occurs at night. A person suffering from bruxism grinds or clenches the teeth and produces loud and unpleasant sounds during sleep. If teeth grinding occurs consciously during the day, it is called bruxomania.
The causes of bruxism are:
-stress, emotional stress, anxiety and fatigue
-taking certain medications (antidepressants)
-aggressive or hyperactive personality types.
Since bruxism occurs unconsciously, the forces that are transmitted to the teeth are much stronger than those that occur during chewing. This leads to serious consequences for the teeth and periodontal structures. The most common symptoms of bruxism are:
-flat chewing surfaces of the teeth
-cracks in the enamel
-damage to the temporomandibular joint, pain
-sensitivity of teeth
If you notice any of the above symptoms, contact your dentist.
The questions that are often asked by patients are:
-What causes bruxism?
-How is bruxism diagnosed?
-Is this condition temporary or permanent?
-What is the best treatment for bruxism?
-What are alternative methods for treating bruxism?
-What are my limitations with this condition?
Bruxism – teeth grinding treatment
Your dentist will ask you some questions, such as: When did you first notice the symptoms of bruxism; is it a permanent or a temporary condition; have you noticed that the grinding gets worse or better in certain situations?
After the examination in the dental office, your dentist will suggest a treatment plan. The dentist can also assess the consequences for the teeth and surrounding structures (gums, cheeks, temporomandibular joint).
Orthodontic therapy is the right choice for people with misaligned teeth. The already existing consequences of bruxism on the teeth are corrected with white fillings or ceramic crowns.
The most important therapy is a night guard. It is made for each patient on the basis of impressions of teeth. The night guard is worn during sleep and prevents further damage to the teeth, gums, and temporomandibular joint.
Some patients are recommended psychological therapy, as well as some lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes before bedtime. It is possible to consult a sleep physician, who can also check whether the patient suffers from other sleep disorders, such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.