Tooth grinding can occur at anytime of the day, by people of all ages and is most common during sleep. Clenching the jaws and teeth during the day often occurs during period of strenuous activity or stress with the sufferer not even being aware that they are doing it.
What Causes Tooth Grinding / Bruxism?
- Structural Triggers – A discrepancy between the correct position of the jaw in its joint below the ear and the most comfortable way that the teeth come together
- Psychological Triggers – Stress and nervous tension
- Physiological Triggers – being unwell, sick, tired or just run down
- Chemical Triggers – Intake of alcohol, tobacco use, caffeine and amphetamines can all enhance the contraction of the jaw muscles and bring about severe clenching and grinding as can withdrawal from drug dependencies such as nicotine
- Habitual – After months or even years of grinding and clenching the activity becomes a habit, therefore to eliminate other factors will not completely stop habitual grinding and clenching without addressing the habit itself
Symptoms and Signs of Tooth Grinding and Bruxism.
A lot of people who clench or grind their teeth are not actually aware that they are doing so and may not even have visible signs of tooth wear or damage. Others will have significant signs of tooth wear (wear facets), flattening of teeth and their cusps, jaw and muscle pain, headaches, migrane -type pain, neck and shoulder pain, jaw stiffness and and even ear ache and restless sleep issues.
Therapies and Treatments for Toothgrinding and Bruxism.
It is very important to note that there exists no cure for toothgrinding and bruxism. Treatment is designed to reduce the frequency and intensity and thus the associated signs and symptoms.
No one treatment is considered better than the other. What we do find is that a combination approach is best when it comes to trying to manage this problem.
Anti-Wrinkle Injection therapy
This is cutting edge treatment that is slowly gaining popularity for a range of therapeutic purposes in particular the treatment of Bruxism and other orofacial, dentofacial and TMJ related painful conditions. See here for more information on the benefits of Anti-Wrinkle Injections for these conditions.