Bruxism

Bruxism is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw. It is an oral parafunctional activity that occurs in most humans at some time in their lives. In most people, bruxism is mild enough not to be a health problem. While bruxism may be a diurnal or nocturnal activity, it is bruxism during sleep that causes the majority of health issues and can even occur during short naps. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders.
Grinding the teeth can cause wear. The canines and the front incisors wear first. The enamel can be lost exposing the soft dentine underneath.
Ongoing management of bruxism is based on minimizing the abrasion of tooth surfaces by the wearing of an acrylic dental guard, or splint, designed to the shape of an individual’s upper or lower teeth from a bite mold. A dental guard is typically worn on a long-term basis during every night’s sleep. Although mouthguards are a first response to bruxism, they do not in fact help cure it. Another type of device sometimes given to a bruxer is a repositioning splint. A repositioning splint may look similar to a traditional night guard, but is designed to change the occlusion, or bite, of the patient.

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