All About Bruxism
In our previous article, we looked at different types of bad postures and how to treat them. In this article, we are going to look at how to stop grinding teeth in sleep naturally.
As some of you know, doctors use the term bruxism to describe a condition that causes people to involuntarily grind their teeth. If you have ever seen a person who while sleeping, grinds their teeth endlessly, then you have witnessed bruxism.
If you have this condition, you may not control your jaws while you are sleeping or even when you are awake at times. The constant grinding of teeth may cause pain in the jaws and destruction of the surface of your teeth.
You may also experience the effects of this condition during the day. If you happen to unknowingly lock your jaws when you concentrate on a task such as studying, then you have bruxism. Given that the grinding of teeth or locking of jaws occurs when you least expect it to, you may find the condition very unsettling.
If you have this problem, then you are one in the millions of individuals in the world who have it. Studies show that more than 25 million people in the United States of America alone have this condition.
Moreover, bruxism affects children and adults alike. It is because of the relatively large number of people who are affected by the condition and its effects on the lives of individuals that bruxism is one of the most important health conditions in the world in general.
What Causes Bruxism?
Many factors can cause bruxism in children and adults. Here are some of the most important causes of bruxism.
- Mental conditions. There is a direct relationship between teeth grinding and mental conditions such as anxiety stress disorder and others. If you are very stressed up, you may involuntarily start grinding your teeth in your sleep or even while awake. In such a case, bruxism is seen as a mechanism that you rely on to cope with the stress.
- Genetic factors. The genetic composition of individuals can be an important risk factor of bruxism. Studies indicate that about 2 – 50% of all people with bruxism have at least a parent who has the condition. In other words, if you have bruxism and one of your parents also has the condition, then you may have inherited it from your parent.
- Missing teeth. In some cases, if some of your teeth are misshapen or crooked, you may unknowingly experience instances of teeth grinding during the day or at night.
- Medications. Some types of drugs are known to cause bruxism in individuals who use them. Examples of the most common drugs that can trigger bruxism include antidepressants and many others.
- Medical conditions. Some diseases that affect the way your nerves function such as Hutchinson’s Disease can cause bruxism.
In medical jargon, awake bruxism is known as diurnal bruxism. The common form of bruxism that occurs at night is called nocturnal bruxism.
You have diurnal bruxism if you repeatedly clench or grind your teeth during the day when you are awake. It is stated that 10% of the population have diurnal bruxism.
This means that one in every 10 people you meet at random involuntarily lock their jaws when they are going about their daily business.
In general, your upper and lower teeth hardly get into contact during the day and even at night. Your upper and lower jaws get into contact when you are eating or in very few other instances. This is because the movement of your jaws is a very complicated process that is controlled by your central nervous system.
You can either initiate the movement of your jaws, in the case of chewing food, or the process can occur unawares, as it is the case for teeth grinding.
Daytime teeth grinding is a semiconscious activity because when it occurs, you are partially aware of the process. As it has been indicated, you are likely to experience this condition when you are under stress.
In other words, diurnal bruxism is a direct effect of stress on individuals. Therefore, if you have the condition, you tend to clench your feet as a way of responding to a stressful environment.
Bruxism in Children
You probably may have seen your kid grinding their teeth endlessly during sleep. As it is the case in adults, bruxism also affects children. About 15 to 33% of all children grind their teeth. Interestingly, teeth grinding in children occurs when they are having milk and permanent teeth.
Therefore, you may start witnessing teeth grinding episodes in your kid during the time when their milk teeth are emerging and when they develop permanent teeth.
You should also remember that bruxism in children mostly occurs at night when they are asleep. Typically, the problem may cause your kid to experience headaches and jaw pains. Also, teeth grinding in children may be harmful because it may damage their teeth.
Although there are many differences between the factors that cause bruxism in children and adults, one of the most common causes in both groups is stress. Children who are subjected to stress during the day may end up involuntarily grinding their teeth in their sleep.
Also, some kids develop bruxism as a result of the physical condition of their teeth. If some of their teeth are missing or in bad shape, the kids may develop the condition.
How to Stop Your Child from Grinding Their Teeth
You can stop your kid from grinding their teeth by using any of the following methods.
- Address the main cause of stress to your kids. It is necessary to deal with the stressful condition because anxiety and related mental conditions are the leading causes of bruxism in children.
- You may have to take your kid to see a dentist if the problem is severe. If you realize that your child who has bruxism constantly complains of pain, then it may be necessary to take them to see a dentist. The dentist may help you to deal with the problem by uncovering any underlying medical condition that your kid may have
- Ensure that your kid has a balanced diet and takes a lot of water. In general, when your kid takes enough water and eats well, then the kid is able to sleep comfortably.
- Addressing any underlying condition. Research indicates that bruxism is a common condition in the 46% of children who have sleep-related problems. If your kid has bruxism, you may consider investigating whether they sleep well. If they have any of the common sleep-related problems such as sleep apnea, you may have to address the problem.
How is Teeth Grinding Treated?
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms and effects of bruxism such as painful jaws and disturbed sleep, then you should consider getting treatment.
Bruxism is treated using any of the following methods that are outlined here. You will realize that in most cases, your dentist if you visit one, will recommend the use of a combination of methods to treat the problem.
- Stress management. In many cases, bruxism is treated by effectively managing stress. This approach to treatment can work if your condition is triggered mostly by being in stressful conditions. If you have day bruxism that is associated with stress, then the condition can be addressed by treating the stress-related problem.
- Addressing the sleep-related problem. Your doctor may decide to treat your condition by addressing the sleep-related problem that you may be experiencing. For example, if you have sleep apnea and bruxism, the chances are that the two conditions are related. Thus, your doctor may easily address bruxism by treating the underlying sleep problem.
- Using special medications. In some cases, it may be necessary to use Botox injection or other muscle-relaxing drugs to treat the condition.
How to Manage Bruxism
Doctors tend to recommend a number of methods to manage bruxism. They usually use this approach because of two reasons: one, bruxism does not kill and two, there is no single effective method of addressing the condition.
Your doctor will recommend a method that suits your condition. To do this, the doctor will examine you and determine whether your condition is related to other physical or psychological ones.
For example, you may use dental guards or splints to help you manage the condition if you normally experience it while sleeping. These devices are usually worn in the mouth at night and help to keep your teeth from grinding against one another while you are asleep.
However, you need to keep in mind the observation that using dental guards may not treat bruxism but only protect you from the severe consequences of the condition.
Another common method that is used to treat bruxism involves the use of cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT as it is known in short. The essence of this method is that you can overcome an unpleasant behavior by identifying and breaking the patterns that support the behavior.
In the case of bruxism, your doctor can help you to learn how to handle a triggering condition like stress by using other safe methods as opposed to grinding your teeth.
Also, the CBT method can be used to help you learn how to relax your muscles when you are asleep and avoid clenching your jaws at night.
Moreover, bruxism can be managed using a method that is called a dental correction. The reason for using this method is that if your teeth are not properly arranged, then this may cause or exacerbate bruxism.
Thus, by carefully correcting your dental arrangement, your dentist can successfully help you to manage the condition.
Bruxism Mouth Guard
If you have bruxism and you are considering using bruxism mouth guard, then you need to remember a few things.
One, you should always keep in mind that using a bruxism mouth guard alone may not necessarily help you to stop grinding your teeth. You may have to use other methods in addition to wearing a mouth guard at night.
A bruxism mouth guard is, however, a very effective way of protecting your teeth from the destructive effects of teeth grinding. A well-fitting bruxism mouth guard offers you the protection that you need while sleeping if you have the teeth grinding problem.
Two, your dentist will determine the perfect size of and shape of your bruxism mouth guard by taking the impressions of all your teeth. In some cases, your dentist will make a few adjustments to ensure that the device fits you perfectly.
Three, your device may get damaged after some time. The acrylic material that is used to make your bruxism mouth guard may get worn out with time. It is important to replace your worn-out mouth guard and avoid using a damaged one to protect your teeth.
Here are some mouth guards that may be quite useful to you. Check them out;
Best teeth grinding mouth guard
If you have bruxism, your doctor may recommend that you wear a mouth guard at night to help you avoid grinding your teeth at night.
There are many brands of mouth guards on the market; therefore, it may be difficult for you to get the most appropriate device. Here is a list of some of the most effective mouth guards that you can use to manage your teeth grinding condition.
- It comes in the form of four mouth guards that are of 2 different sizes.
- It can be used as a mouth guard if you have bruxism or as an athletic mouth guard.
The professional Dental Guard mouth guard can be used for various purposes, thanks to its design and functionality. You can comfortably use it to help protect your teeth from the negative effect of bruxism and for many other tasks.
It has a unique design that makes it one of the most appealing and reliable mouth guards that you can find on the market.
- This product is safe because it does not contain mercury and BPA.
- You can use it for multiple purposes, including whitening your teeth and as a mouth guard during sporting activities.
- It is highly durable, thanks to the quality of the materials that were used to make it.
If you have bruxism and you are looking for the most effective mouth guard, then you may consider using the DentalCare Labs Teeth Grinding Dental Night Guards. The mouth guard is packaged as four well-designed guards in 2 sizes. Thus, you can easily get the right size for yourself.
- It is made of very light but strong material that makes it an effective solution to your bruxism problem.
- You do not have to boil this guard every time you need to reuse it.
- Effectively protects your teeth from grinding and enables you to sleep comfortably at night.
If you need a mouth guard that is made from high-quality material and fits perfectly, then you should consider using the DenTek Comfort Fit Dental Guard kit.
This product is one of the most popular ones on the market because of its design and effectiveness. You can confidently adjust the guards to fit you perfectly.
- You can use them for three functions including protection against teeth grinding and whitening your teeth.
- This product is highly hygienic, thanks to its design and the materials that were used to make it.
- The pieces are moldable to help you fit them properly.
- The mouth guard is free of BPA and other potentially harmful materials.
You can use this mouth guard to keep your teeth safe at night if you have bruxism. One useful feature of this brand of mouth guard is that you do not have to boil it for you to use it repeatedly. Also, the product has been specially built to last for long.
- You can use it on either your lower or upper teeth.
- This mouth guard is disposable.
- It has been specially designed to effectively protect your teeth against destruction from grinding.
You may find the fact that the Plackers Grind No More Dental Night Protector mouth guard is disposable one of the main reasons for you to use this product.
Besides, you only have to use them for three days for maximum effect. You can, therefore, use this product to overcome the effects of bruxism safely and efficiently.
How to Stop Grinding Teeth In Sleep Naturally
Bruxism that occurs in children normally goes away after some time. You need to remember that in children, bruxism is a common condition that occurs when they develop their first and permanent teeth.
If you have observed your kid who is developing milk teeth grind their teeth while asleep or even awake, you do not have to worry.
It is normal for the problem to disappear over time; however, in some cases, your kid may continue to grind their teeth involuntarily. If you have observed this in your kid, then it may be proper to examine if there is any other underlying condition that is triggering the grinding of teeth.
In adults, bruxism hardly goes away unless you get professional help. It is common for doctors to treat bruxism by addressing its underlying causes and minimizing the pain of its symptoms.
For example, if your bruxism is caused by sleep apnea, then your doctor may focus on treating your sleeping problem while recommending specific techniques that you can use to manage the grinding of teeth.
Therefore, bruxism goes away in children because it is normally caused by the natural process of teething. However, if the problem is caused by other factors in older children, then it may hardly go away. Similarly, it is important to address the condition in adults because it rarely goes away if left unattended to.
For those with a jaw pain condition, check the products below as they may help your condition.