Bruxism, or involuntary grinding of the teeth, is a surprisingly prevalent affliction. A population-based study estimated that 31.4% of the general population suffer from it, which means that over seven million Australians experience it in some form. Bruxism occurs either while you are awake or when you are asleep. It is difficult to know if you have sleeping bruxism, unless a loved one hears you grinding your teeth. Certain signs may alert you to the possibility of it though, including damaged teeth, broken fillings, and frequent headaches.
Given that it is an involuntary movement disorder, there are no cures as such. There are treatment options available which help in managing the condition and minimizing the damage done to your teeth while you are sleeping. It is important to inform yourself of the treatment options available because delaying any kind of treatment will lead to further harm. If you suspect bruxism, booking an appointment with your dentist is the first step. A comprehensive examination at a dental clinic will usually lead to a diagnosis. If you are diagnosed, you have a number of treatment options. Here are two of the best choices:
These acrylic bite guards are considered extremely effective in limiting the extent of damage done to your teeth when you grind them involuntarily. They are worn at night time and are slightly uncomfortable the first few times you use them, but you get accustomed to them eventually. It is a good idea to seek out a reputable cosmetic dentist in order to ensure your mouthpiece is properly tailor-made for the specific shape of your teeth and jaw. A well-constructed occlusal splint will provide only a minimal level of discomfort. This is why it is important to do your research and book an appointment with a highly regarded cosmetic dentist. The last thing you want to do is invest in an occlusal splint only to find that it does not fit properly.
It might surprise you to learn that botox is effective at treating a dental condition. Botox is commonly referred to in celebrity culture as a treatment that is used to combat the effects of ageing such as wrinkles. It is also a great alternative remedy for bruxism and has been shown in a few small scale studies to be an effective treatment. Conventional treatments like the aforementioned occlusal splints do a fine job of preventing further damage to the teeth from grinding, but they do not tackle the annoying and painful side-effects of the condition such as jaw discomfort and frequent headache. Injecting botox into the muscle that moves the jaw (masseter muscle) helps with relaxing the muscle activity of the jaw and can alleviate side effects resulting from constant clenching and grinding. A typical treatment will help you for three or four months. It is not a cure for bruxism, but it can provide extended periods of relief and is definitely worth trying if you are in a lot of pain.