Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism, can affect both children and adults, and occurs during either the day or evening. In some cases it affects people all day and night. A variety of treatments exist to help control this condition, from natural remedies, to devices or medication. It is in a person's best interest to seek treatment as soon as possible rather than face long-term, irreversible damage due to teeth grinding.
Before a doctor can choose the proper treatment for his patient, the patient must recognize the symptoms of teeth grinding. The greatest problem with teeth grinding is that it most often occurs at night, making it difficult to diagnose.
Some common symptoms include an increase in tooth sensitivity, pain or tightness in your jaw or jaw muscles, headaches, earaches, teeth that are worn down or chipped and worn tooth enamel.
Although the exact cause is not known, some popular theories in the medical community include stress, abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth, anger and frustration, problems sleeping, hyperactive personality and complication from disorders such as Huntington's or Parkinson's disease.
There are some natural remedies available to help those who suffer from Bruxism, one of which is stress management. Learning strategies and techniques that help you relax, such as meditation and some exercises, may put an end to grinding your teeth. Seeking professional help, such as counseling, is another option.
The position you choose to sleep in plays a large role in whether or not you grind your teeth. Try sleeping flat on your back--this prevents Bruxism from occurring. Sleeping on your side or stomach only increases your risk.
Wrap your jaw in a washcloth dipped in lukewarm water. This relaxes the muscles of your jaw. Doing this every night before you go to bed may relieve you from grinding your teeth at night.
Mouth guards are one of the most common treatments for those who grind their teeth. There is, however, more than one type of mouth guard.
A stock mouth protector is one dentists do not recommend because it does not protect a person very well from the effects of grinding their teeth. On the upside, this type of mouth guard is easily accessible; it is found in sporting good and department stores and it's inexpensive. It comes preformed, though, and may not fit everyone's mouth. It is often bulky and can make it difficult to breathe and talk.
Boil and bite mouth guards are similar to stock mouth guards in that they are found in most sporting good stores. These mouth guards typically fit better, as they must be placed in hot water to be softened first. The person can then mold them to the shape of their mouth and teeth by using their fingers and tongue.
Custom-fitted mouth guards are the best solution; however, they are typically very expensive. The dentist takes an impression of the teeth, then sends the impression to a professional dental lab. The professional dental lab creates a mold and makes the custom fitted mouth guard. This not only provides top notch protection, but the greatest comfort.
In severe cases when other treatments have proven ineffective, dentists may find it necessary to perform surgery or prescribe medication.
Dentists may help those with misaligned teeth if the bruxism is caused by a specific dental problem. He may also find it necessary to use an overlay or crown if the tooth grinding has has resulted in sensitivity or an inability to chew properly. Unfortunately, these surgical procedures are extremely expensive, and though they correct these specific problems, there is no guarantee the surgery will correct the bruxism.
Taking a medication may help, especially a muscle relaxant before going to bed. Again, though, this form of treatment is not always successful for everyone. Mayo Clinic states that Botox injections have been given to some with severe cases of bruxism who have not responded to any other form of treatment. However, there have not been enough studies performed on this to clearly stand behind its efficacy.
The millions of people who grind their teeth and suffer from its side effects are looking for an affordable, professional solution to the problem. ProTeethGuard.com offers that solution by providing professional, custom-fitted mouth guards for teeth grinding directly from the same professional dental lab used by dentists.