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Bruxism: A lesser-known oral condition

Bruxism: A lesser-known oral condition

Posted by KARE DENTAL on Feb 3 2020, 07:12 AM

Bruxism: A lesser-known oral condition

Have you heard of an oral condition called bruxism? It is a pretty common one that affects a lot of people but often goes unnoticed. Bruxism is the night-time grinding of teeth that happens subconsciously. Commonly known to be one of the major symptoms of sleep apnea, bruxism can affect one's oral health considerably and result in persistent pain in the oral region. Your Redwood City dentist, Dr. Helen Trinh can help you treat this sleep condition.

How do you know if you suffer from bruxism?

Patients who suffer from bruxism show certain symptoms that are predominant. Some of them are:

  • Waking up with a sore jaw due to all the clenching overnight.
  • The teeth could undergo excessive wear and appear shorter than they usually are. Sometimes, the extent of wear is so intense that that upper layer of enamel would have worn out and the inner dentin would be visible.
  • You may find grainy particles in your mouth when you wake up, which would be eroded enamel due to teeth grinding.
  • Pain in the jaws that would make it very difficult to move them, thereby hindering your ability to bite and chew food, yawn, or even talk normally.
  • Bruxism is known to lead to a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Temporomandibular joints connect the lower jaw to the skull and come into a picture whenever the lower jaw moves. All such movements could incite pain along with certain physical changes, such as swelling, inflammation, etc.
  • The quality of sleep goes down when you have bruxism. Patients usually feel tired and sleepy during the daytime due to this.

How can bruxism be treated?

Redwood City dentist, Dr. Helen Trinh advises treating bruxism at an early stage to prevent it from becoming quite serious as it progresses. Here are some of the changes you can make to reduce the effect of bruxism:

  • Caffeine is known to intensify the severity of bruxism. Limiting the consumption of coffee, tea, and other beverages that are rich in caffeine helps to provide relief from it.
  • Bruxism could develop as a result of stress and strain in the muscles surrounding the TMJ. Massaging the TMJ on a regular basis can relieve the muscles of the strain and reduce the severity of bruxism.
  • Patients with bruxism often tend to subconsciously clench their jaw even while awake. Being self-aware of clenching the jaws avoids exerting pressure on the muscles around the jaws.
  • Frequent snacking, biting nails and chewing gum should be avoided.
  • Smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and consuming alcohol should be limited.
  • Try to maintain a relaxing position while sleeping. Sleeping in awkward positions can put too much pressure on the jaws and TMJ, thereby worsening the condition.

When it comes to professional treatment to counter bruxism, we would offer you a customized bruxism-guard. The guard would look quite similar to an athletic mouthguard and has to be worn at night while going to bed. The guard prevents the teeth from either jaw from coming in contact with each other, thereby completely avoiding contact between them.

Call us at 650-260-2600 or schedule an online appointment to have a consultation with Dr. Trinh.

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