One in three of us suffers from bruxism, do you?

 

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, about one in three people suffers from bruxism, particularly “people who are aggressive, competitive and hurried” (bruxism has also been linked to sleep apnea and as a side effect of certain antidepressants). (MSNBC.com)

Nighttime grinders have a biting force 6X greater than during the daytime, around 250lbs of force per square inch which is sufficient to crack a walnut. (oracare.com)

Nighttime Bruxism occurs an average of 25 times per night, in 4 to 5 second episodes. (Energeticsinstitute.com)

Photo Credit Lesly Juarez

Nighttime Bruxism occurs an average of 25 times per night, in 4 to 5 second episodes.

Bruxism Defined:

Bruxism is when you clench (tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together) or grind (slide your teeth back and forth over each other) your teeth. People can clench and grind without being aware of it during both the day and night, although sleep-related bruxism is often the bigger problem because it is harder to control. (A.D.A.M Medical Encyclopedia, February 22,2010)

  • Diagnosed by their dentist

  • Seeking substitute for a dental professional guard due to cost, non-compliance, and/or lack of symptoms

  • Demographics;57% female, 81% between ages 25-54, 59% married

  • 71% Caucasian, 18% Hispanic, 9% African American, 7% Asian

  • Educated, 83% some college or more

  • 62% employed Full-Time or Part-Time

  • Middle Class, 51% make between $25K-$75K

  • Usage; As an alternative to professionally made dental guard

  • Wants relief from bruxism symptoms – headache, jaw pain

  • Wants to protect dental investments caused by bruxism

Symptoms and signs of bruxism may include: teeth grinding or clenching; teeth that are worn down, flattened, fractured or chipped; worn tooth enamel; increased tooth sensitivity; jaw pain; tired jaw muscles; earache; headache; facial pain; damage from chewing inside of cheek; indentations on your tongue (mayoclinic.com, May 19, 2011)

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Tips On Treating Bruxism:

1. Manage your stress- Since stress is a large factor in bruxism, take proactive measures to deal with your daily stressors. Exercise, meditation, massage, or therapy, commit to incorporating one stress- reducing strategy every day. 2. Wear a nightguard- Though sleeping with something in your mouth may seem daunting, nightguards can alleviate grinding and resulting aches and pains – not to mention damage. “The use of a dentist-made guard or an over the counter guard can help relax the muscles of the jaw and may help to counteract the effects of bruxism. Over the counter muscle rubs for jaw pain can also help along with guards.” (Dr Mehta, sheknows.com, October 8, 2008)

3. Relax your jaw muscles- Even if you feel like you are getting a good handle on your stress, your subconscious may still incite your jaw to clench. Relaxing your jaw throughout the day and make facial relaxation a habit. Set your watch or cell phone to beep every hour to check your facial tension and practice loosening your jaw. (sheknows.com, October 8, 2008)

 

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