Studies have shown that 1 in 3 American adults suffer from bruxism, or excessive teeth grinding and jaw clenching. There are two types – awake and sleep bruxism. What follows is a high-level rundown of sleep bruxism.
Signs and symptoms of sleep bruxism, which occurs primarily during sleep arousal stages, include:
- Grinding or Tapping Noises
- Excessive Tooth Wear and Fractures
- Tooth Soreness and Movement
- Hypersensitive Teeth
- Jaw Pain and Soreness
Diagnosing sleep bruxism has long posed a challenge to doctors and patients. While a dentist will provide the most comprehensive diagnosis, patients can also detect symptoms in a number of ways:
Self-Diagnosis: patients often detect their own symptoms such as tooth mobility and wear, hypersensitivity, mouth abrasions, and jaw muscle soreness
Feedback From Others: the most common form of diagnosis is through feedback from housemates and loved ones. Be proactive and ask your mates about the frequency and intensity of your grinding.
The causes of sleep bruxism have been researched extensively:
Occlusal Factors/Bite Configuration: occlusion is defined as ‘contact between teeth.’ Occlusal interferences (discrepancies with the normal path of the bite) were historically believed to be the sole cause of bruxism.
Stress and Other Psychosocial Factors: while bruxism is generally thought to be caused by stress, evidence is still inconclusive. Emotional stress, including that caused by anxiety, frustration, aggressiveness, and hyperactivity, has been closely examined.
Medication: while not conclusive, certain drugs (dopamine agonists, dopamine antagonists, tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors, alcohol, cocaine, and amphetamines) have been studied to cause bruxism
Genetics: while genetic markers have not been identified, 21-50% of those with sleep bruxism have a direct family member who also had the condition as a child
Management and treatment of bruxism includes solutions that both help manage bruxism activity but also the negative physical effects of it:
Dental Guards or Occlusal Splints: offers protection of teeth against bruxism but does not reduce bruxism activity
To fabricate your nightguard, we will take accurate dental impressions that a professional dental lab will use to construct the dental nightguard.