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Bruxism: causes and solutions

It occurs when the upper teeth are clenched with the lower teeth and also move from back to front and vice versa, usually unconsciously.

 

Although some people have no symptoms, bruxism can cause:

 

Jaw, ear and jaw pain.

Problems in the temporomandibular joint.

Headache.

Anxiety.

Tension.

Dental sensitivity to cold, heat and sweet foods.

Insomnia.

The causes of bruxism are not sufficiently known, although it is considered that the most important trigger is stress, although there are others that may contribute to its delivery:

 

Improper alignment of teeth.

Feeding.

The posture.

Sleep habits, etc.

   

 

Causes of bruxism

 

Traditionally, dental protectors or splints have been used to prevent bruxism during sleep and thus prevent the damage that this disorder can cause to the teeth and problems of the temporomandibular joint. However, the splints do not solve the problem and although the pain disappears while they are used, it reappears if they are stopped being used.

 

Precisely, one of the priority objectives of treatment is the elimination of pain, for which there are many resources:

 

 

 

Relaxation exercises

 

Application of ice or hot cloths in the area where the pain occurs.

Avoid eating hard and sweet foods.

Drink a lot of water.

Massage the areas where pain occurs.

Sleep well.

  

 

What is certain is that the treatment of stress and anxiety can reduce bruxism. Another option may be an orthodontics on the bite pattern to properly adjust or align the teeth. Surgery in this case is considered as a solution of last resort.


Dr. Armellini received her dental degree from the Central University of Venezuela. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a clinical fellowship in Implantology Prosthodontics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

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