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Thursday, August 14, 2008

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding or clenching of the teeth, often during sleep or while under stress.



The causes of Bruxism are not really known, several factors may be involved. Stressful situations, problems in sleeping, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth may contribute. In cases involving children the grinding may be due to the top and bottom teeth not being in proper alignment.



In adults, mental factors seem to be associated with Bruxism, including:

  • anxiety, stress or tension
  • suppressed anger or frustration
  • aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type



Symptoms of Bruxism


  • abraded teeth
  • facial pain
  • oversensitive teeth
  • tense facial and jaw muscles
  • headaches, dislocation of the jaw
  • a popping or clicking in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • tongue indentations
  • damage to the inside of the cheek
  • teeth that are worn down, flattened or chipped
  • worn tooth enamel, exposing the inside of your tooth
  • increased tooth sensitivity
  • jaw pain or tightness in your jaw muscles


Prevention


If your Bruxism is related to stress, you may be able to prevent it by using strategies to help you learn to relax. Also, try cutting down on stimulants such as tobacco and caffeine. In both children and adults, tooth damage related to Bruxism can be prevented by wearing a night bite plate or a bite splint (a dental appliance worn at night to stop teeth grinding).



Treatment


Treatment of Bruxism depends on the following factors:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the disease
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease
  • Your opinion or preference



Treatment Options

Behavior modification - Training the patient how to rest his/her tongue, teeth, and lips properly, and learning how to rest the tongue upward may relieve uneasiness on the jaw while keeping the teeth apart and lips closed.


Mouthpiece - A specially-fitted plastic mouth appliance may be worn at night to absorb the force of biting. This piece of equipment may help to prevent future damage to the teeth and help in changing the patient's behavior.


Biofeedback - Biofeedback involves an electronic instrument that measures the amount of muscle activity of the mouth and jaw. This is especially helpful for daytime bruxers.



Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)



Contact http://www.toothtourism.com/ today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

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