TMJ Guide

What is Bruxism? Here's the ANSWER

Bruxism is a medical term used to define the habit of clenching or grinding teeth. The severity of the condition is varied in the way it manifests in different people. Bruxism is a common condition that afflicts hundreds of people and it can potentially cause intense stress and eventually lead to other related health complications. Bruxism needs to be correctly understood and identified in order to deal with it in the most effective manner that will yield a positive long term relief.


The typical symptoms of Bruxism


  1. Grinding or clenching of teeth especially during sleep time (waking up with a tired jaw or teeth)
  2. Headaches and pain in the regions of the neck or shoulders
  3. Sensitive teeth
  4. Clicking sound in the jaw when opening or closing mouth
  5. Pain in jaw or ears or sides of face


The presence of any or all of these symptoms could indicate the presence of Bruxism.


Detection of Bruxism is important because early treatment of the condition can prevent some of the associated indications that can creep up following a prolonged bout of the problem. Most often, prolonged Bruxism can lead to the occurrence of severe headaches, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, muscle pain and teeth damage. The ramifications of Bruxism can also extend to psychological conditions resulting from stress and disturbed sleep patterns. It is therefore best that a quick treatment is sought for after consultations with a specialist.


Common treatments prescribed for Bruxism


  1. Exercises focused on the head and neck regions
  2. Change in sleep positions
  3. Use of mouth guards and other coping techniques
  4. Drugs to relieve acute symptoms
  5. Psychotherapy
  6. Dietary treatments
  7. Stress reduction therapy
  8. Surgical treatments


The exact degree of success of a treatment for Bruxism will depend on correctly identifying the root cause of Bruxism followed by the most suitable treatment that will offer a permanent cure. A lot of people suffering from Bruxism are known to have spent a lot of time and money trying out several methods of curing Bruxism, with little or no relief.


The fact is that unless a Bruxism treatment accepts the fact that the problem is really multifactorial and therefore requires a holistic manner of treatment, one cannot possibly hope for a truly positive and real cure to the condition. The only sure shot treatment of Bruxism is a multidisciplinary approach that focus on the root causes of the problem and its manifestations.

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