Anxiety and the negative management of stress are the main causes of bruxism, a dental disease suffered by 10 to 20% of the world’s population and can cause tooth erosion and tooth breakage.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress is a global epidemic which is able to cause numerous health problems. Bruxism is the most common and well-known oral complaint derived from stress.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is a problem suffered by those who clench and grind their teeth involuntarily. This can happen during the day or during sleep. Symptoms include muscle fatigue in the jaws, tooth sensitivity and headaches. Although this has been said, many people do not realise they have bruxism until someone hears them grinding their teeth and notifies them. Visiting the dentist is the best way to diagnose the problem as bruxism produces dental attrition which dental professionals can quickly detect. Wear in the tooth enamel, flattened teeth and even bright spots in the fillings are some of the most common symptoms of bruxism.
I have bruxism: what do I do?
If you think you suffer from bruxism, visit your dentist who will be able to advise the appropriate treatment. You may be advised to use a discharge splint, this is an acrylic or silicone device that is obtained from a mould of your mouth, and prevents dental wear during the night by enabling your jaw to stay in a correct rest position. There is no specific cure for bruxism however activities such as yoga, jogging, massages and meditation techniques can help to reduce tension and improve overall well-being.
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