Teeth grinding or bruxism may not be entirely harmful if this happens once in a while and when teeth grinding may considered as mild. But when the grinding and clenching becomes frequent and on a regular basis, this becomes a cause of concern. Left on its own, this condition may lead to damaged teeth, jaw disorders, headaches, facial pains, hearing loss, and temporomandibular disorders (TMJ).
What Causes Bruxism?
Medical experts have still to come up with an official explanation of bruxism in adults. It has been suggested that this condition may be due to physical and psychological factors. On the physical aspect, this can be due to an irregular alignment of the upper and lower teeth. This can also be a complication attributed to another medical condition or a side effect of certain medication. It is also believed that the grinding may be the result of anxiety, stress, tension, frustration, and other emotional or psychological factors.
In children, this usually occurs when the first teeth and permanent teeth come out although teethgrinding may stop when the teeth are fully out. In addition to the possible causes mentioned, teethgrinding may also be common when taken with stimulating substances such tobacco, alcoholic drinks, caffeinated beverages, and illegal drugs.
How is Teeth Grinding Managed?
In cases where teeth grinding is mild and occurs infrequently, no treatment may be required. Except when there are complications, children may also pass the stage of this teeth grinding condition. It is only when the condition becomes severe and impacts a person’s quality of life that treatment may be required. The options available include the following:
There are a number of ways a dentist may address the problem of teeth grinding. Depending on the assessment, mouth guards may be suggested in order to prevent any damage to the teeth. Dental splints may also be made to fit the teeth of the patient.
If the underlying cause is dental in nature, the dentist will correct any misaligned tooth. There may be a need to reshape the teeth or put in a dental crown to prevent further damage to the teeth.
If the condition is found to be due to stress and other emotional factors, the best recommendation would be professional counseling to address the root causes of the stress. A patient may also engage in exercises and meditation in order to relax and relieve any tension or anxiety.
Avoid Stimulating Substances
Experts strongly recommend that substances that may cause the grinding be avoided. This must be done particularly before going to bed, wherein teeth grinding becomes very common.
Maintain Regular Dental Visits
A dentist can greatly help in determining your condition and may be able to come up with suggestions to address the problem. The dentist is also in the best position to offer recommendations on how tomanage bruxism in children.