Bruxism refers to an excessive clenching together of the bottom and upper jaw accompanied by the grinding of the lower teeth with the upper set of teeth. Sleep studies indicate that 8% of the population may experience a pathological nocturnal bruxism. Most people are unaware that they are grinding or clenching their teeth because it typically occurs at night. Usually it is only when someone points it out that people with Bruxism become aware that they are grinding their teeth.
Bruxism affects adults and children and, usually not a serious medical problem, it can wreak havoc in the mouth, and can cause the teeth to loosen wear away and become painful. Parts of the teeth sometimes break having been ground away completely. This can lead to jaw joint disorders, pain, headaches, earaches, damaged teeth and abrasions in the mouth.
It is important if you experience Bruxism symptoms that you seek proper diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms include teeth grinding and clenching, facial pain, headaches, sensitive teeth, and damaged teeth.
The exact cause of Bruxism is not really known, but a combination of factors may contribute to the problem. Some factors that could trigger Bruxism symptoms include, anger, pain, frustration, anxiety, stress, tension, certain personality types such as being aggressive, competitive, hyperactivity, posture, diet and poor sleep habits.
There are a number of ways to treat Bruxism. The aim of treatment is to alleviate pain, prevent permanent damage to teeth and change teeth clenching behaviors as much as possible.
With acupuncture, unblocking the energy circuits that run through the jaw-area, along with a general tonification of yin energy will usually do the trick. Remember that yin energy can be thought of as “nourishing”, “mother”, and “earth”. When dental pain is the issue, acupuncture treatment opens the channels toward the upper or lower jaw and soothes and detoxifies the meridians near the affected area, bringing pain relief.
Do you grind?
· Recurrent, unexplained headaches, especially in the temples
· Head, neck or shoulder pain
· Sensitive teeth
· Breakage/chipping of teeth or fillings, especially larger fillings
· Sculpting or ridging of the tongue
· Ridging on inside of the cheeks
· Tightness in jaw muscles
· Gum recession
· Clicking of jaw
· Wearing down of teeth surfaces, especially obvious in front teeth
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