Background

BRUXISM (TEETH GRINDING)

BRUXISM (TEETH GRINDING)


Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is often regarded as a safe, though annoying, habit. Some people develop bruxism from an inability to deal with stress or anxiety. Teeth grinding can cause abrasion to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. It can also affect to shape of the teeth. Bruxism is slightly correctable. A common therapy requires the use of a unique piece of equipment worn while sleeping. Less intrusive, though just as effective methods could involve biofeedback, and behavior modification, such as tongue exercises and learning how to properly align your tongue, teeth and lips.

The other option is botox which is done by injecting small doses of botulinum toxin right into the masseter muscle (the large muscle that moves the jaw), the muscle is weakened enough to stop spontaneous grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw. This substantially relaxes the muscle and lowers the wear and tear on the teeth due to grinding.

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If your jaw is often sore, or you hear popping sounds when you open and close your mouth, your teeth look abnormally short or worn down and you notice small dents in your tongue, then, you can suspect.
One of the problems of frequently grinding your teeth in your sleep is that the movement and friction wear down your tooth enamel, the outer layer that covers each tooth. The primary causes are stress and anxiety, a side-effect of medications and medical conditions, sleep disorders and malocclusion or an uneven bite.
This treatment could be considered for those that have persistent bruxism problems, whether that is while they are awake or asleep. We do not recommend this treatment for pregnant or breastfeeding mums.
Botox injections last from 3-6 months, after which time treatment can be repeated to maintain the benefit.
The injections may cause a little pain, but it is generally so minimal and short. Some patients liken the injections to the feeling of an insect bite.

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