What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the term that refers to an incessant grinding and clenching of the teeth, unintentionally, and at inappropriate times. Bruxers (persons with bruxism) are often unaware that they have developed this habit, and often do not know that treatment is available until damage to the mouth and teeth has been done. Damage caused by bruxism often includes the following symptoms. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

    * abraded teeth
    * facial pain
    * oversensitive teeth
    * tense facial and jaw muscles
    * headaches
    * dislocation of the jaw
    * damage to the tooth enamel, exposing the inside of the tooth (dentin)
    * a popping or clicking in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
    * tongue indentations
    * damage to the inside of the cheek


The symptoms of bruxism may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult a dentist or your physician for a diagnosis.

What causes bruxism?

Although this habit is unintentional, oral health specialists often point to excessive stress and certain personality types as typical causes of bruxism. Bruxism often affects persons with nervous tension such as anger, pain, or frustration, and/or persons with aggressive, hurried, or overly competitive tendencies.

Treatment for bruxism:

Specific treatment for bruxism will be determined by your dentist or physician based on:

    * 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




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