Bruxism

Bruxism is an unconscious oral motor condition characterized by repetitive or sustained contractions of the jaw muscles. It affects 6-8% of adults and the incidence rate decreases with age.

Two forms of bruxism exist. The first form is static and is accompanied by a clenching of the teeth. People are aware of their clenching because it happens when they are awake.

A patient suffering from this form of bruxism may have:

  • Worn teeth
  • Dental fractures
  • Dental erosion (loss of hard tissues of the tooth, including tooth enamel and dentin)
  • Joint sounds
  • Pain during the palpation of the mandible muscles
  • Muscles sensitive upon awakening
  • Migraines or frequent morning headaches
  • Neck and arm pain (pain from the jaw structure)

The second form of bruxism is dynamic and is characterized by teeth grinding. People are unaware as it occurs during sleep.

A patient suffering from this form of bruxism may have:

  • Widespread wear of the dentition
  • Dental fractures
  • Dental erosions (loss of hard tissues of the tooth, including tooth enamel and dentin)
  • An acceleration of the loss of bone structure that supports the teeth
  • Joint sounds
  • Little or no pain during the palpation of the muscles of the mandible
  • Nighttime noises that can disturb partners

To find out if you have bruxism, you can either monitor what occurs at home or get diagnosed in asleep lab. There is no cure for this condition. The prevention of lesions to the oral-facial structures therefore remains the main therapeutic objective.

Decreased muscle tension relieves jaw joints and decreases headaches upon waking as well as tooth sensitivity. These solutions also prevent premature wear of your teeth.

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