Sleep Bruxism Information, Symptoms and Causes

Sleep bruxism is also known as nocturnal tooth grinding. Sleep Bruxism is a sterotyped movement disorder characterized by grinding or clenching of the teeth during sleep. This will cause the damage of the teeth. For many people, bruxism is an unconscious habit. The disorder has also been identified as nocturnal bruxism, nocturnal tooth-grinding and nocturnal tooth-clenching. The 8% of adults grind their teeth at night. Grinding can be noisy enough at night to bother sleeping partners. Like clenching, grinding can lead to jaw pain and other problems.

Eventually, bruxism can destroy the surrounding bone and gum tissue. In children sleep bruxism may be related to growth and development. It is a condition that affects both kids and adults. Sleep bruxism is a problem that affects 8% to 21% one of the U.S. population. The age for children is around 5 or 6. This usually occurs in the early part of sleep time. Sleep bruxism is believed to be related to changes that occur during sleep cycles in some individuals, and this is an active area of current research. The symptoms can cause temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ). Chewing is a complex neuromuscular activity that is controlled by reflex nerve pathways, with higher control by the brain.

Causes of Sleep Bruxism
The causes of sleep bruxism are physical and psychological also.

Dental problems
Suppressed anger
High levels of alcohol consumption
Stress
Masticatory muscle discomfort
Complications of Huntington’s disease
Symptoms of Sleep Bruxism
Worn tooth enamel, exposing the inside of your tooth
Earache
Jaw muscle discomfort
Headache
Sore gums
Disturbed sleep
Eating disorders
Chronic facial pain
Increased tooth sensitivity
Treatment for Sleep Bruxism
Most cases of bruxism are mild and may never require treatment. Occasional bruxism may not be harmful but when it occurs regularly, it may be associated with moderate to severe dental damage, facial pain, and disturbed sleep. Unfortunately, people with sleep bruxism usually aren’t aware of the habit, so they aren’t diagnosed with the condition until complications occur.

Custom-made by your dentist to fit your teeth, the appliance slips over the upper teeth and protects them from grinding against the lower teeth. While an appliance is a good way to manage bruxism, it is not a cure.
Massage the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and face. Search carefully for small, painful nodules called trigger points that can refer pain throughout the head and face.
Learn physical therapy stretching exercises to help the restore a normal balance to the action of the muscles and joint on each side of the head.
Behavior therapy. Once you discover that you have bruxism, you may be able to change the behavior by practicing proper mouth and jaw position. Concentrate on resting your tongue upward with your teeth apart and your lips closed. This should keep your teeth from grinding and your jaw from clenching.
For severe and persistent bruxism, a dentist may prescribe an oral appliance made of soft plastic to protect the teeth.
Prevention for Sleep Bruxism
Get plenty of sleep.
Try to relax in the hours before bedtime to reduce stress levels.
Jaw aligning exercises may be necessary for the prevention of the sleep bruxism.
Dental exams are the best way to screen against sleep bruxism.
Avoid eating hard foods like nuts, candies, steak.
Using caffeine, tobacco, cocaine or amphetamines seems to increase the risk of bruxism.
Stress reduction and anxiety management may reduce bruxism in persons prone to the condition.