Bruxism – What can you do against teeth grinding?
Unconsciously pressing your teeth together is called bruxism or grinding. It is one of the so-called parafunctions of the masticatory apparatus. Unlike chewing, these functions are not physiologically useful.
In most cases, bruxism occurs during REM sleep. Usually, the masticatory apparatus should be in a relaxed position at night. When grinding at night, the muscles of mastication are tensed up unconsciously and this makes the teeth are pressed together. The bite force then decuples. The exact cause is still unknown. Grinding is often induced by stress which is worked off at night. Other reasons for grinding are: insomnia, alcohol and caffeine consumption, smoking as well as taking soporifics.
Bruxism and possible health restrictions
If bruxism is very strong and occurs on a regular basis/permanently, the teeth can be substantially harmed. The permanent pressure, the dental hard tissue gradually removed? so that the dental pulp is exposed?.This mght result in sensitive teeth, infections or even tooth loss. The periodontium loosens and the teeth start to wobble. In an extreme case, a tooth might burst?/break in two. The rest of the masticatory apparatus is also affected by grinding. The jaw musculature tenses up and can result in head and face ache, tinnitus or head-rush. The permanent pressure can cause the jaw point to be impaired, worn off? or inflamed/sored.
Insomnia due to bruxism
Insomnia can not only be traced back to psychological strain but also to physical strain: headache, nocturnal perspiration and grinding (=bruxism), weary eyes, muscle tenseness and muscular pains can be the result of chronically fitful sleep. These are warning signals of the organism in response to fitful sleep and should not be ignored. It is therefore very important to take steps against bruxism.
What can done about it?
An anti-snoring splint (protrusion splint) helps to prevent bruxism. They also contribute to solve the snoring problem and prevent the teeth from pressing together. Thus, plastic splints have an anti-bruxism effect. strong bruxism, however, is problematic: the splints might be bitten through if your bite force is too strong?.Some splint are used as a complementary therapy for CPAP (continuous positive airway opressure) to improve the airflow. More information on anti-snoring splints or prostrusion splints can be found here.