Bruxism is a disorder that affects quite a lot of people and can cause a wide range of health problems if left untreated. Your dentist, at Spa Dental Sydney CBD in Sydney CBD, can actually help with that.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is essentially when you clench your jaw muscles and grind your teeth to an excessive extent. It’s a fairly common issue for people that suffer from anxiety. As an example, it’s quite prevalent amongst medical students or those in a high stress environment such as the financial, media or military sectors.
Although grinding your teeth may not sound particularly harmful, over time this can lead to headaches, wearing down of the teeth, earache, lockjaw, broken fillings, facial pain and disrupted sleep. Although serious damage tends to only happen in some of the more severe cases, it’s still not worth taking the risk.
What are the symptoms?
Although bruxism is a fairly common disorder, many people still go undiagnosed and continue to suffer despite the signs. So, with that in mind, here’s a few things to keep an eye out for.
Generally, a hint you might be a sufferer is if you have any worn, flat, sensitive or damaged teeth. Or if you experience a regular aching feeling in your jaw that doesn’t go away throughout the day. If you live with your partner, ask them if they hear your mouth clicking, popping or making grinding noises whilst you sleep.
All of these can be a sign of bruxism; if you start showing or are continuing to have any of these symptoms then don’t hesitate to contact your dentist right away.
One of the most difficult things about bruxism is how you can treat it. Because this is a stress related disorder, the type of treatment available will vary from person to person. Generally, your dentist will discuss your various options to try and suit your lifestyle.
As an example, you may be recommended to seek a course of relaxation therapy to help treat your anxiety. You could even be referred to your GP for medication to suppress it or go into further treatment to diagnose the source of your stress.
If the medical route is not an option, then you could be advised to make a few lifestyle changes. Cutting out caffeine, alcohol and smoking is a great start, as this lowers your heart rate and helps you mentally deal with stressful situations better. You could also be recommended meditative classes to help you find moments of calm when things are getting too much.
Finally, one other option would be the practice of mindfulness. This involves learning to take in your surroundings, creating a focus point and then using that to lower your stress levels.
In closing, bruxism can have quite an impact on your day to day life if it goes left untreated. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, then get in touch with your dentist as soon as you can.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.