Bruxism – Teeth Grinding
Bruxism affects around 8-10% of the population. Bruxism is grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw that causes tooth wear and breakage, disorders of the jaw and headaches.
There are two types of Bruxixm:
- Awake bruxism which is involuntary clenching of the teeth and jaw bracing in reaction to certain stressful situations.
- Sleep bruxism is involuntary teeth grinding with rhythmic and sustained jaw muscle contractions.
Bruxism may occur on it’s own or because of another underlying condition such as Parkinsons disease, anxiety or depression. Or it may be the result of using recreational drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy.
Sleep bruxism occurs when aroused during sleep, indicating that it may also be a sign of a sleep disorder. Nearly 80% of bruxism episodes occur in clusters during sleep and are associated with these arousals. It is often associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (periods of stopping breathing during sleep), Bruxism is also more prevalent in individuals who regularly use alcohol, tobacco and caffeine (6 cups or more per day).
There is no specific cure for bruxism but the disorder can be managed.
Treatment options for Bruxism
Botox can be used to relax the muscles in the jaw that cause excessive clenching.