Bruxism, the technical term for “teeth grinding,” is one of the most common dental health issues today — it’s estimated that about 40 million Americans suffer from bruxism, and a huge portion of these people (an estimated 20%) don’t even realize that they grind their teeth..
The problem is, bruxism is something that causes quite a few dental hygiene problems — tooth decay, sensitive gums, broken or chipped teeth, and overall poor oral health. Tooth enamel can even wear down when bruxism goes untreated for a long period of time, despite being the hardest natural surface in the human body. When tooth enamel wears off, the body doesn’t automatically produce new enamel — so it’s even more likely that your teeth will experience some decay and/or gum disease will develop.
Luckily, there are plenty of options available for bruxism treatment that are affordable and available once you do find out that you’re suffering from this dental health problem. For example,
Night mouth guards are probably the most common bruxism treatment options. These are flexible plastic mouth guards — similar to what athletes wear — but they’re worn at night to prevent the person from clenching or grinding the teeth while asleep. These mouth guards are often provided by dental specialists and are custom-fitted to the patient’s teeth, and many people suffering from night time bruxism note that there’s an immediate relief in terms of pain, headaches, and oral health problems.
Another option — and something to try on your own if you can’t get in to see a dentist right away — is to make a few small lifestyle changes. Limiting caffeine and alcohol will help your body relax at night, and even looking into stress-relief options like therapy sessions could ameliorate the anxiety that’s causing so much stress (and ultimately causing you to grind your teeth).
Now we’re asking for your input! If you’ve suffered from bruxism in the past, what treatment options have worked for you? If you’ve just been diagnosed with this common dental problem, what symptoms have you been noticing and what treatments are you considering? We’d love to hear from you!