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Sleep Bruxism FAQ’s
What is Sleep Bruxism?
Sleep Bruxism is a sleep related movement disorder characterised by clenching and grinding of the jaws and teeth. This condition can lead to exaggerated tooth wear and fractures of teeth and dental restorations, fillings, crowns, bridges etc. Excessive sleep bruxing can also lead to damage to the gum or periodontal tissues that support the tooth leading to gum recession and looseness or tooth mobility. Significant TMJ or jaw joint discomfort and headache may result from persistent bruxing
What are common symptoms associated with Sleep Bruxism?
Symptoms and complaints frequently include: Tooth fractures, wear, increased tooth sensitivity, cracked tooth syndrome. Gum or periodontal symptoms can include periodontal injury, increased tooth mobility, tooth movement, tooth nerve damage or inflammation. Gum recession, bone resorbtion, and non-carious cervical tooth lesions like notching at the necks of the crowns of teeth, are associated with excessive tooth grinding. Teeth may be sensitive and jaws sore on waking.
Why do I not feel any pain when grinding my teeth?
Daytime clenching and grinding is accompanied by a neurological protective (nociceptive) pain response. While asleep this protective response is “shut down “ and it is possible to increase the magnitude and duration of tooth grinding movements by a factor of 5 to 10 times thus causing significant damage to teeth, restorations and possibly causing jaw joint and muscle pain.
I am not aware of grinding my teeth?
Unless accompanied by symptoms which cause pain or soreness or signs, such as tooth or restoration fractures, you may not be aware of the condition. Awareness of bruxing activity also fluctuates over time.
Is there a device to help protect my teeth while sleeping?
There are several types of devices, which can be utilised, to protect the teeth and provide a barrier to the most damaging effects of tooth grinding sleep bruxing.
Ref. oral appliances for Sleep Bruxing: Depending on the condition of your teeth and the level of Sleep Bruxism successful appliance wear will require the fabrication and adjustment and monitoring of a customized dental mouthpiece.
I don’t make any noise - how can I be grinding?
Sleep bruxism is not always accompanied by noise. However symptoms are often accompanied by complaints from a sleep partner. Jaw muscle hypertrophy (increased bulk), jaw pain and headache may accompany this condition.
Do certain medications cause bruxing?
Certain prescription drugs including serotonin uptake inhibitors such as Lexapro, Prozac, Seroxit are associated risk factors for sleep bruxism. Some psychiatric disorders and neurological conditions, which require similar medications, have been associated with this condition.
Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin 18, Ireland
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