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Treat Your Teeth Grinding or Bruxism With Orthodontic treatment

Photo Courtesy of pexels.com - Pavel Danilyuk

What is Bruxism?
Bruxism or teeth grinding is a medical condition where patients clench or grind their teeth. If you have ever woken up with a sore jaw, muscle tenderness or headache, or if you experience tooth sensitivity whenever you eat very cold or very hot food, one of the causes could be teeth clenching. And while this happens whenever you are in a stressful situation, it is possible that you may be doing this unknowingly in your sleep too.
What Causes Bruxism?
There are two types of bruxism - that which happens during the day and that which happens at night.

Bruxism during the day is called 'awake bruxism'. Some causes may include:
 - Anxiety, stress, frustration or even deep focus and concentration in a particular subject.

Bruxism at night is called 'sleep bruxism'. Some causes may include:
 - Brain activity during sleep, obstructive sleep apnea, or dreams

Some other factors which cause bruxism:
 - Aggressive or hyperactive personality
 - Anti-depressants, alcohol, tobacco
 - Medical conditions like Parkinson's disease, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder), epilepsy, etc.
What are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
  - Teeth grinding or clenching
  - Flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
  - Worn tooth enamel
  - Jaw pain or face pain
  - Morning headaches
  - Locked jaws
  - Sensitive teeth
  - Chipped teeth

Problems Caused by Bruxism
Tooth and enamel damage: Severe teeth grinding is one of the leading causes of enamel erosion. The clenching process can also lead to chipped or cracked teeth.

TMJ: When grinding becomes chronic, it can also damage the jawbones over time, as well as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In worst cases, it can cause the jawbones to get misaligned and thereby cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Damaging existing dental treatment: apart from causing new problems, teeth grinding can also cause damage to the dental treatments that you have already undergone in the past like implants, root canals, etc.

Therefore you must get your grinding under control with help from an orthodontist. 

Orthodontic Treatment for Bruxism

  1. Braces - Malocclusion can result in bruxism. This is a condition where the teeth are misaligned and can be corrected with the help of braces. Braces are a time tested way of closing the gap in teeth. With constant pressure over time, they help the teeth move in the direction necessary.
  2. Invisalign - These are a special form of braces, different from the traditional braces. Invisalign does not use permanent aligners. Instead, these aligners are changed every 1-3 weeks, depending on the needs of the individual patient and his progress.
  3. 3. Nightguard - A night guard is special equipment that will help protect your teeth and braces at night and prevent them from being damaged by clenching. These can be purchased over the counter or be custom made by an orthodontist.

Photo Courtesy of pexels.com - Anna Shvets

Other Treatments for Bruxism

  1. Caffeinated foods and beverages lead to bruxism. Reduce or remove them from your diet
  2. Cut your alcohol consumption. It aggravates your teeth grinding problems.
  3. Chewing gum tends to put tension on the muscles, which are already sore due to teeth grinding.
  4. If you have a sore jaw, you can relax it by applying warm and moist heat
  5. If you have a habit of getting easily stressed, reduce your stress by taking enough rest and sleep.
  6. Meditate to slow down your hypertension and brain activity before you sleep. 


Emily Taylor

Author Bio:

Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great - it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile - weather is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily's face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!  


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