Does your child grind their teeth throughout the whole day or at night while sleeping? If any of this happens then probably, your child is suffering from Bruxism. Not only does it affect children but many adults also suffer from Bruxism.
The medical condition of clenching or grinding teeth is called bruxism. Bruxism can cause extensive damage to the dentition, teeth and surrounding structures. Generally, it is exacerbated by anxiety or stress but the actual mechanism or causation remains unknown. Sleep bruxism occurs in both children and adults. In children it is not so much of a worry as primary teeth are exfoliated so damage eventually becomes irrelevant. However, if bruxism continues into adulthood, proper medical and or dental treatment is necessary to prevent any further damage.
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Although there is no proven aetiology for Bruxism, doctors believe that it is worsened by physical and psychological factors.
Clenching can occur consciously or unconsciously. For example during extreme physical exertion exacerbated by stress, anxiety, frustration, tension or anger. It may also be some coping strategy or a habit when someone is thinking very deeply.
It is generally believed to be a parafunctional activity that happens without the awareness of the person.
However, some factors are shown to increase the risk of bruxism. These are:
Having an aggressive nature may increase the risk of bruxism. Being hyperactive and competitive can increase the risk of bruxism.
Medications and recreational drug use as well as alcohol can exacerbate or cause increased bruxism and clenching. Therefore in order to treat bruxism a multi disciplinary approach involving both your Doctor and Dentist may be required.
Such a medical condition can also be part of general medical disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, dementia, epilepsy, sleep-related disorders, night terrors.
Treatment is not needed in many cases. Many children overcome bruxism without medication, and many adults do not need any medical treatment as the problem can disappear over the time. However, if the problem is severe, one should use available therapeutic measures, medications and consult a Hornsby Dentist. Talking with your dentist or doctor would help you find a solution to the problem.
If you or your child is suffering from bruxism, a renowned doctor from All Smiles Dentistry can help you in many ways to improve the condition of the teeth. Although these can protect from further damage, they may not prevent bruxism permanently.
These are custom made appliances to keep the teeth apart during sleep so that bruxism cannot damage teeth or restorations. They are made up of usually hard acrylic materials and are fitted over upper teeth as needed. Before proceeding down this path ideally consulting a Hornsby Dentist is necessary, as they can provide the proper information and treatment plan that is required before opting for an occlusal splint.
Mouthguards are generally made of soft acrylic which is generally only useful to prevent daytime clenching as well as sports injuries.