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Careington 500 Dental Plan

Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

 What is bruxism? Bruxism is the clenching or grinding of teeth that many of us do whether we realize it or not. Most commonly, we do this unknowingly in our sleep. However, some of us clench or grind habitually during the day, often due to anxiety or stress. In some rare cases, bruxism can also be a symptom of nervous or muscular disease in the face, or a side effect of medication. In any event, it is an annoying, damaging habit that requires treatment, so don't ignore it.

Bruxism is common in children, especially those under five. While most outgrow bruxism and never see many (if any) effects of their childhood habit, some do not, so bruxism in your child should be reported to your dentist.

For those who clench or grind due to stress or anxiety, the habit can be stamped out through counseling or stress therapy. Your dentist may even prescribe medication designed to both ease the effects of your bruxism and help you to relax, especially in sleep.

Bruxism can cause a number of serious dental issues, some irreversible. Severe bruxism can break your teeth or previous fillings. Of course, it can also grind away at the enamel of the teeth, weakening them greatly and causing sensitivity. It can also result in jaw dysfunction or pain in the head and face.

If you're not sure whether you grind or clench your teeth unknowingly, ask yourself whether you experience the following symptoms: Rhythmic jaw contractions, a tight painful jaw, Morning headaches, Enduring facial pain, Damaged or broken teeth, Damaged teeth, broken dental fillings and injured gums, Injured gum, Swelling of the jaw.

A grinding sound reported by anyone who shares a bedroom with you

Make sure to see a dentist if you experience these symptoms. He or she will ask about your overall dental health, your sleep habits, your medicinal intake, and your stress level in setting up treatment.

The dentist will examine your teeth and jaw muscles for evidence of bruxism - tenderness, broken teeth, misalignment, testing your bite, etc. If he or she finds other dental problems that may be a result of bruxism, he or she will set up treatment. This often involves wearing a device in the mouth to eliminate the effects of bruxism. A bite plate or splint will protect the teeth from bruxism damage, as well as help relieve the stress and wear on the jaw.

While bruxism is an evasive, somewhat mysterious disorder, it can be treated and its effects alleviated. Don't hesitate to see a dentist if you are concerned that you or a loved one is clenching or grinding teeth. Detection and treatment can save you from quite a bit of pain, discomfort, and a lifetime of serious dental disorders.