What It Is
We all clench or grind our teeth from time to time, however, if you find yourself doing this a lot, then you may be suffering from bruxism without even realising it. Bruxism is a condition that causes people to move their teeth in a frequent or unusual manner – this can happen when you are awake or sleeping and can occur as a result of stress or anxiety.
As mentioned above, bruxism can develop as a byproduct of a mental health condition, although it is statistically more likely to be caused by an abnormal oral feature such as misaligned or crooked teeth. In certain situations, it can also be symptomatic of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
It can be difficult to realise if this is an issue that affects you as it commonly occurs during sleep. If you have a partner, it may be useful to ask them to keep an eye on things, especially if you find you wake up with a constant headache or sore jaw – these are both recognised signs of bruxism.
Bruxism is a condition that affects roughly 10% of the population. The main symptom of bruxism is the grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw, both of which cause your teeth to gradually become worn down. This can lead to increased sensitivity in the mouth and even tooth loss in the most extreme cases.
There are numerous methods for the treatment of bruxism. Most commonly, a mouth guard or splint will be prescribed to help prevent your teeth from wearing down. If your teeth grinding is anxiety or stress-related, then your doctor or medical professional might prescribe certain medications or recommend a treatment such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
Recently, doctors have started injecting small doses of Botulinum toxin into the muscles surrounding the jaw – these injections can weaken and relax the muscles that reside in this area, significantly reducing the amount of wear on the teeth in the process.
Am I Suitable For Treatment?
If you have been diagnosed with bruxism or are displaying symptoms that suggest you might be suffering from this condition, then you should contact one of our professionals at La Fuente to organise a consultation – we have multiple treatment options that can be tailored to suit almost anyone’s needs.
At La Fuente, we can offer you a variety of different treatment plans that can help you manage and alleviate the symptoms of bruxism. Prior to treatment, we will talk through all available options with you, taking your specific situation into account – after this, we will recommend a solution to ensure you achieve the best results possible.
Botulinum toxin is usually recommended as it is safe and extremely effective at resolving the issues associated with bruxism. Almost any adult is able to receive Botulinum toxin injections as a form of treatment, however, we will always explore your medical history to make sure our chosen treatment option is safe for you.
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If you choose to undergo Botulinum toxin injections as a treatment for bruxism, then it will hurt no more than receiving a normal injection - if you opt for a mouth guard or splint, then the pain will be minimal, however, some people do report feelings of discomfort to begin with.
The results from Botulinum toxin injections should help alleviate the symptoms associated with bruxism in 3-4 days. Wearing a mouthguard whilst you sleep will offer almost immediate results as this creates a barrier between your top and bottom sets of teeth.
A mouth guard or splint can last for an indefinite amount of time and is extremely effective in controlling bruxism. This means that once you have received it after your initial appointment, there is no need to return to us unless you are having a check-up. Botulinum toxin can manage the symptoms of bruxism better than a mouth guard for some patients, however, the effects of this only last for 3-4 months so repeat treatments are necessary.
There is very little downtime associated with all of the treatment options. In most cases, you will be able to resume your day right where you left off. Some patients do report having a lopsided smile if they choose Botulinum toxin as a treatment option, however, this tends to correct itself after a couple of days.