Tooth grinding or gnashing is the common name for bruxism. Tooth grinding causes the jaw and its muscles, and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to give jaw ache symptoms. These symptoms range from mild sleep disruption to severe pain, making eating and working difficult.
Children and adults can experience teeth grinding, but it mostly affects people between the age of 25 – 45. The two types of bruxism include:
It usually involves jaw clenching in response to stress or certain stimuli.
It is the most common type of teeth grinding, occurring when sleeping. It usually includes tooth grinding and clenching of the jaw.
Tooth grinding has several causes, and the exact cause is often difficult to identify. Possible causes of tooth grinding are:
Occlusal splints are a treatment that reduces strain on the muscles. The plastic splints are custom-made in the laboratory for each patient to reduce and address the effect of tooth grinding. This treatment method gives fast improvement.
Lifestyle changes and anti-stress medications can also help when stress and anxiety are the causes of bruxism. Some patients also find that injecting Botox into the jaw muscles can help.
In some cases, orthodontic treatment can move the teeth and bite into a better position. A more complex treatment may be necessary to restructure the bite by first relaxing the jaw muscles with an occlusal splint, then adjusting specific points in the teeth, and filing other teeth to re-equilibrate the bite and balance the chewing system to align the bite with the TMJ.
Visit Kingston Orthodontics or call us on 0203 002 2501 to book an appointment with our orthodontists to discuss your treatment options for bruxism.
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