About Dr Archana K Sanketh

Dr. Archana Sanketh (MDS) is a Consultant Prosthodontist at Hi-Tech Dental Clinic, Bangalore. A specialist in Prosthodontics and other subsets of Dentistry, she has five years of medical experience. Dr. Archana has also served as a Dental Surgeon at Srisha Dental Care.

Bruxism Symptoms And How You Can Spot Them

Bruxism is the habitual grinding of teeth or clenching of jaws, which usually occurs at an unintentional and unconscious level. It can occur either when the person is awake or when he is asleep. In fact, it is seen most individuals (irrespective of their age) at some point of time in their lives. Bruxism symptoms vary depending upon the cause, duration, and the severity of the condition. One person who grinds his teeth might experience no symptoms at all, while another person with the same condition might experience a wide range of symptoms.

bruxism symptoms

Regular visits to the dentist can alert you to bruxism symptoms in their early stages.

A Few Common Bruxism Symptoms

If you have this condition, the bruxism symptoms may be noticed by:

  • Your partner or whoever sleeps next to you often, as the sound you make while grinding your teeth could be loud enough to wake that person
  • Your dentist, when you visit him for dental checkups

Here are some common bruxism symptoms, many of which may be revealed when your dentist examines your teeth.

  • Teeth that are worn down, flattened, fractured, or chipped
  • Worn dental enamel (outermost layer of the teeth), exposing deeper layers of your teeth
  • Jaw pain or tightness in your jaw muscles, typically on waking up in the morning
  • Swollen or receding gums
  • One or more shaky teeth, which you may end up losing (only if bruxism is severe and of a prolonged duration)
  • Cheek bite i.e. damage caused when you chew on the inside of your cheek
  • Indentations/markings of your teeth visible on your tongue
  • Increased sensitivity of your teeth to hot, cold, and sweet foods
  • Difficulty in opening your mouth
  • Pain while chewing food
  • Earache, which occurs due to the contractions of the jaw muscles during the of teeth. This symptom is related to bruxism, especially when the doctor rules out any problem with your ear
  • A dull and constant headache
  • Unceasing facial pain
  • Stiffness in your neck and shoulders
  • Elevated levels of anxiety, stress, and tension
  • A depressed state of mind

Grinding your teeth puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures of the oral cavity around your jaw. When this continues for an extended period of time, it can cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems (such as clicking or popping sounds while opening the jaws or while chewing, and difficulties in opening the mouth fully).

symptoms of bruxism

Advanced symptoms of bruxism include continued facial pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders.

Bruxism Symptoms – Long Term Effects

If bruxism goes undiagnosed and untreated for a long period of time, it can drastically change a person’s appearance in the following ways.

  • As the teeth wear out, they become shorter.
  • When the mouth is closed, the upper and lower jaws are nearer than they used to be, and so are the nose and the chin.
  • The skin around the mouth may curl around the lips, causing the lips to seemingly disappear.
  • The person begins to appear much older than he actually is.

Bruxism, even when it becomes an established pattern, does not pose danger to life. At the outset, bruxism symptoms are often inconspicuous. As a result, they are easily overlooked by patients or by parents (when bruxism occurs in a child). When this happens, bruxism progresses to advanced stages and begins affecting the entire dental structure. Regrettably, this delay in seeking treatment may have already caused irrevocable damage. To ensure the timely diagnosis of bruxism, regular visits to the dentist are a must.

Bruxism Causes – Why The Condition Is Prevalent

Bruxism is a medical condition characterized by the clenching or grinding of teeth, usually done unintentionally and unconsciously. It can occur either when a person is awake or when he is asleep. Sleep-related bruxism is often the bigger problem because it is harder to control. While the condition is not fatal in itself, unchecked bruxism causes increasing damage to the dental structure.

bruxism causes

Stress is one of the most common bruxism causes.

Some Common Bruxism Causes

There are various theories as to why a person grinds his teeth. Here are some of them:

  • Stress And Anxiety

    Bruxism has been frequently linked to certain mental conditions, the most common being day-to-day stress. This link has been seconded by studies that have been conducted on patients with bruxism. These studies have revealed that people may grind their teeth due to stress and anxiety, without actually being aware of it.

    There is a direct correlation between stress and bruxism i.e. greater the stress levels, higher the number of bruxism incidences. The reason for this could be the disturbing negative effect of stress on the quality of sleep.

  • Sleep Disorders

    Obstructive sleep apnea (a sleep disorder characterized by the stoppage of breathing during sleep) is a known cause of bruxism.

    You can be at a risk of bruxism if you:

    • Sleep fitfully i.e. you sleep in intermittent bursts
    • Tend to talk incoherently while asleep
    • Are often aggressive in sleep (show signs like kicking out or flailing your arms)
    • Experience a phenomenon known as sleep paralysis, in which you’re momentarily unable to speak or move while falling asleep or while waking up
    • Hallucinate i.e. you experience certain sensations that are not real but only created by your mind
  • Certain Medicines

    In rare cases, certain medicines such as those used to treat depression and elevate moods have been known to cause bruxism.

  • Specific Lifestyle Patterns

    Modernity is not without its negative effects. You can end up becoming a patient of bruxism if your way of life involves:

    • The consumption of too much alcohol
    • Smoking
    • Drug abuse
    • Drinking six or more cups of tea or coffee in a day

Teeth Grinding In Children

There have been hints that as many as 50% of children grind their teeth at some point of time.

Your child may develop bruxism when his baby teeth come out or subsequently when his permanent teeth emerge completely (teething). Grinding that results from teething usually comes to a halt after all the adult teeth have emerged completely. If bruxism persists in children even after teething, it could be due to some of the reasons mentioned above, stress during exams being the most common.

Other Possible Bruxism Causes

causes of bruxism

Having crooked teeth is also one of the causes of bruxism.

Apart from the bruxism causes mentioned above, here are some causes that could leave you susceptible to bruxism:

  • Crooked or missing teeth
  • Abnormally aligned upper and lower teeth
  • Ear aches
  • Complications arising from certain disorders like Parkinson’s disease (a disorder of the brain that leads to trembling and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination) and cerebral palsy (a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking)

In many cases of bruxism, there is usually an underlying medical cause for the condition. It is best to counter bruxism causes by seeking treatment for the underlying condition first. Bruxism can progressively affect your teeth, jaws, and other dental structures, causing much pain in the long run, so it is highly advisable to seek prompt treatment for the condition.

What Is Bruxism – Some Details About The Condition

Do you grind your teeth often, usually without being aware of doing so? In all likelihood, you have a medical condition called bruxism. While this condition is not fatal, it can still cause much damage to you teeth, jaws, and the entire dental structure. It is important to learn what is bruxism, as this condition can occur in anyone at any age.

what is bruxism

What is bruxism? It is a condition characterized by the unintentional and unconscious grinding of teeth.

What is Bruxism? – Some Facts About The Condition

  • Bruxism is the medical term that refers to the clenching of jaws or the grinding of teeth. It is called a para functional (outside of normalcy) activity.
  • It is a habitual and more importantly, an involuntary action.
  • People with bruxism often clench their teeth while awake, but in most cases of bruxism, the grinding of teeth occurs during sleep.
  • Most people grind their teeth at some point in their lives.
  • Bruxism can occur at any age. In children, it is usually noted at the time their baby teeth or permanent teeth are coming out.
bruxism

Bruxism can occur at any age.

What Is Bruxism – The Various Types Of This Condition

Bruxism can can be classified into 2 types:

  • Awake Bruxism

    Awake bruxism is characterized by the involuntary clenching of the teeth in reaction to certain stimuli when a person is awake. He normally does not grind his teeth in this condition.

  • Sleep Bruxism

    This type of bruxism is distinguished by the automatic grinding of teeth during sleep, accompanied by sustained contractions of the jaw muscle.

Bruxism can also be classified as:

  • Primary Bruxism
    This type of bruxism usually comes with no clear underlying medical condition.
  • Secondary Bruxism
    This type occurs due to a pre-existing medical or psychiatric condition in the patient.

Do I Have Bruxism?

As already mentioned, bruxism occurs unintentionally and unconsciously, so if you have the condition, chances are that you have not noticed it. But your condition might be noticeable to:

  • Other people, especially those who sleep in the same room, as they could become aware of the sound you make while grinding your teeth at night
  • Your dentist, who can spot the worn out quality of your teeth when you visit your him for a routine check up
grinding of teeth

The grinding of teeth can cause permanent dental damage and result in jaw pain, ear aches, and headaches.

Bruxism is not a dangerous disorder. However, depending on the severity and the duration of the condition, it can cause permanent damage to the teeth and result in uncomfortable jaw pain, headaches, or ear aches For this reason, it is important to get dental examinations done periodically, to ensure that bruxism can be diagnosed and treated at the earliest, if present.

Seven Flu Prevention Tips – How to Avoid the Disease

Influenza or the flu is a highly contagious ailment and it can also turn fatal on occasion. Thankfully, it can be prevented by implementing some simple tips. Even though the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination as the best flu prevention method, it is not 100 % effective and needs to be supplemented by other preventive measures to protect oneself and others from this infection and control its spread.

flu prevention

Covering your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing is an important measure for flu prevention.

Flu Prevention – Seven Crucial Tips

  1. Wash Your Hands Properly

    The influenza virus may remain alive outside the human body for 2 – 8 hours and and it is usually transmitted through the hands or the nose of an infected person. This happens either when a patient releases infectious viruses to the surroundings while sneezing or coughing, or touches a door knob or any other objects with his hands after they have been infected by the influenza virus.

    When a healthy individual comes in contact with the contaminated object, he may obtain the infection. For this reason, it is critical to wash hands frequently and rigorously for up to 15 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizers. Always avoid touching your nose, mouth, or your eyes without washing your hands properly.

  2. Cover Your Mouth And Nose When You Cough Or Sneeze

    Influenza spreads through air, so you must always cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing so as to prevent the influenza virus from being transmitted to your surroundings through respiratory droplets. You can also use tissues instead, but ensure that tissues once used must be properly disposed.

  3. Get The Annual Flu Vaccine

    The most important measure in flu prevention is getting the flu vaccine administered. The flu vaccine can be taken by adults, and children older than 6 months. The vaccine is available as an injection (flu shot) and as a nasal spray (flu mist). The nasal spray vaccine can be taken by children older than 5 years, adolescents, and adults younger than 49 years of age.

    prevention of flu

    The annual flu vaccine is the best method for the prevention of flu, but it is not 100% effective.

    Certain people belong have higher chances of acquiring influenza. These people include:

      • Pregnant women
      • Children younger than 5 years of age
      • Adults older than 65 years of age
      • People with underlying medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and lung or heart disease
      • Health care workers

    These people who belong to the high risk group should receive the flu vaccination to reduce the severity of complications in case they do contract the flu.

    Influenza viruses are subjected to high mutation rates (change structure frequently) and as a result, no vaccine can give long lasting protection from them. The World Health Organization formulates the flu vaccine every year depending upon the specific strain that is circulating during the flu season.

  4. Stay Away From Crowded Places

    Influenza is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person. According to CDC, once you catch the flu, you must stay at home till you get well or for at least 24 hours till your fever has subsided without the help of antipyretics (fever reducing medicines). If children have influenza, they must not be sent to school to prevent the spread of the infection. Adults should also stay back from work if they have the flu. It is better for you to avoid crowded places like public gatherings or public transport during peak flu season to lessen the chances of acquiring the infection.

  5. Avoid Close Contact With Infected Individuals

    Avoid close contact with individuals infected with influenza as it increases the risk of acquiring flu. Isolating flu patients reduces the risk of the transmission of the disease, both in hospitals and at home. If coming in contact with an infected individual is inevitable, ensure that you wear a mask of some sort.

  6. Take Preventive Medication

    Drugs are also available for flu prevention. If you’re a health care worker or a caretaker who is in constant contact with flu patients, or a laboratory personnel who deals with flu samples routinely, it is recommended that you take preventive medication. This ensures that your chances of getting the influenza infection are lowered. None of the medicines give long term protection from influenza, but they help in preventing the infection in 70 – 90 % of cases. Preventive medication also helps in preventing flu complications.

  7. Maintain High Levels Of Hygiene

    cold and flu prevention

    Cleaning surfaces with a disinfectant is an important measure for cold and flu prevention.

    It is important to maintain good hygienic practices and take everyday precautions to keep the flu at bay. Here are some basic tips for hygiene:

  • Use disinfectants to clean surfaces and objects as they might be contaminated with the flu virus
  • Avoid spitting on roads
  • Protect your health
  • Manage stress
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat healthy

By following these flu prevention measures, you decrease your chances of being attacked by the flu virus. As influenza is quite infectious and sometimes fatal, your best bet is to prevent the condition instead of fighting its complications at a later date.

The Different Periodontal Disease Stages – Understanding Gingivitis

Normal healthy gums, along with the supporting framework, appear firm and pink. This gum collar provides a strong support for the teeth. When there is an inflammation of the gums and the deeper structures of the teeth, this condition is called periodontitis or pyorrhea. Knowing about the symptoms of each of the periodontal disease stages can help you understand the disease better and get timely diagnosis and gingivitis treatment.

periodontal disease stages

Periodontal disease stages begin with gingivitis, in which the gums become red and puffy, and bleed readily.

The Periodontal Disease Stages – The Parts Of The Tooth They Affect

The structures supporting a tooth are:

  • The gingiva or gums, which is the soft pink-colored tissue that surrounds the neck of the teeth
  • The jawbone, which supports the tooth and holds it in the socket
  • Periodontal ligaments, which connect the teeth to the socket

The periodontal disease stages affect these three structures when they cause an inflammation.

The Cause Of Periodontitis

When gingivitis causes worsen, they increasingly affect various structures of the oral cavity, leading to periodontitis. Here’s what is involved in the whole process.

  • Various studies have demonstrated that plaque (a thin film formed on the tooth surface by food debris) and bacteria constitute the detrimental combination resulting in periodontitis.
  • Bacteria are normally present in the mouth. However disease-causing bacteria tend to appear in plaque that is not removed on a regular basis by oral hygiene procedures like brushing and flossing.
  • Plaque hardens over time to form tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing. Once tartar has accumulated, getting the teeth cleaned by your the dentist becomes the only option available.
  • The plaque/tartar causes irritation of the gums leading to the infection and inflammation of the gums and the surrounding structures. This condition is called periodontitis.

The Differences Between Gingivitis And Periodontitis

  • When the inflammation is confined to the gum layer only, it is known as gingivitis. This is a very common condition that is easily reversible.
  • If gingivitis remains untreated the infection progresses into deeper parts of the oral cavity and involves the bone and other structures surrounding the tooth, causing periodontitis.
  • In periodontitis, the loss of bone is irreversible and requires a more aggressive form of management as compared to gingivitis.
gum disease stages

Brush your teeth and floss regularly to get rid of plaque, which is the root cause of gum disease stages.

The Different Periodontal Disease Stages

Periodontitis passes through various stages before finally resulting in either the tooth falling off or it being removed by the dentist. Here are the periodontal disease stages described progressively.

Stage 1: Gingivitis

  • The accumulation of bacterial plaque along the gum line results in gum disease or gingivitis.
  • The gums then become red and puffy, and have a tendency to bleed readily.
  • The person with gingivitis will usually experience no pain at this stage.

Stage 2: Early Periodontitis

  • When the accumulated plaque is not removed, then gingivitis continues to cause the gums to be pulled away from the teeth.
  • This allows for the formation of “pockets” (gaps of varying depth between the gums and the teeth).
  • These periodontal pockets are filled with bacterial plaque, calculus (tartar), food debris, and pus.
  • At this stage the infection has started the process of bone damage.
  • Pain may or may not be present during this stage.

Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis

  • As the disease advances, the gum infection spreads, resulting in further loss of bone support.
  • At this stage, the condition causes pain and the teeth may become loose or shift in alignment.
  • The gums recede causing more of the tooth to be exposed.
  • The depth of the periodontal pockets increases.

Stage 4: Advanced Or Severe Periodontitis

  • In the advanced stage of periodontal disease, the patient experiences a buildup of pain and pressure due to the accumulation of pus.
  • The teeth become so loose that they may fall off.
  • In most cases, no treatment can save the affected tooth, and the removal of the tooth is the only option at this juncture.

If you notice any gingivitis symptoms, it is best to approach your dentist for immediate treatment. This will prevent the periodontal disease stages from progressing further, saving you unnecessary pain and the need for the removal of one or more teeth. Ideally, you should learn how to prevent gingivitis, so that you don’t need to deal with this condition in the first place.

How To Prevent Gingivitis – Tips For Dental Care

Gingivitis, otherwise known as gum disease, is a common condition that affects people based on their dental hygiene. The age old saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds good for gingivitis too, because it’s easy to learn how to prevent gingivitis – all it takes is a few steps!

Certain simple measures can help you keep gingivitis causes at bay and prevent the occurrence of this condition.

Some Tips On How To Prevent Gingivitis

  • Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day

    People often forget the little things when they wonder how to prevent gingivitis.

    Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day. Plaque is the irritant that causes gingivitis symptoms and needs to be removed. Brushing removes the plaque from your teeth and gum margins.

    Always use a fluoridated toothpaste. Do not rush through the brushing process – your teeth deserve your time and attention. Spend about 2 minutes and make sure that you are cleaning all areas of your mouth, including your tongue.

    how to prevent gingivitis

    To learn how to prevent gingivitis, start by using a fluoride toothpaste

    Do not use a hard bristled brush. You need to change your toothbrush once every 3 months or earlier if the bristles get frayed. Don’t apply too much pressure when brushing, as this does more harm than good.

    Use a toothbrush of the appropriate size, one that is neither too big nor too small. If you follow a proper brushing technique, it stimulates your gums and keeps them in the pink of health.

  • Make Flossing A Daily Routine

    Dental floss gets between your teeth and under your gum line to remove plaque,  accessing the areas that the toothbrush cannot. For this reason, it is a must to floss everyday.

    A simple technique to floss:

    • Take about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
    • Hold the floss stretched between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth.
    • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line.
    • Do not ever force the floss, as this may injure your delicate gum tissue.
    • Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
  • Rinse Your Mouth After Every Meal

    After brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash aids in removing the bacteria that may have been left behind.

    Also, rinsing the mouth after every meal or snack washes out food debris and decreases plaque formation.

  • Follow A Proper Diet

    While learning how to prevent gingivitis, it is important to pay attention to your diet too. A well balanced diet provides adequate nourishment, so make sure you follow a healthy diet.

    This will strengthen your immune system and help in warding off an attack by bacteria and other micro-organisms, including those in the mouth. Avoid frequent snacking and consuming foods that are rich in sugar content.

  • Avoid Unnecessary Stress

    Wondering what stress has to do with preventing gingivitis? A lot!

    As your stress levels increase, your body’s ability to fight off infections or diseases decreases. Also, when you are extremely distressed, daily practices such as brushing and flossing can be affected.

  • Keep Your Habits Healthy

    This is an important point that will often crop up when you run a check on how to prevent gingivitis. Keep away from habits such as smoking, as people who smoke or chew pan are prone to gingivitis.

    Chemicals from the pan and the heat from a cigarette can irritate and damage your gums, if you have either of these habits.

  • Visit Your Dentist Twice A Year

    A periodic visit to your dentist every 6 months for a thorough check-up can prevent the build-up of deposits around the gum margins. Your dentist will advise you to set right the misaligned teeth, replace worn out or improperly made accessories, and fill the decayed teeth.

    Your visits to the dentist must be more frequent if you are suffering from diabetes, certain cancers, or AIDS. If you have a known family history of gum problems, you should take extra care.

  • Choose Healthy Supplements

    In addition to the measures mentioned above, the consumption of vitamin C rich foods or supplements can maintain your gums in a healthy state. Opt for healthy supplements while shopping, and gingivitis will be the last worry on your mind.

Gingivitis in an easily preventable condition. If ignored, it can progress to advanced periodontal disease stages. As a result, it’s best to learn how to prevent gingivitis and keep your gums in perfect health, forestalling the need for gingivitis treatment.

Choosing A Bruxism Mouth Guard – Tips That Can Help

If you unintentionally or unconsciously clench or grind your teeth, it is highly likely that you are suffering from a condition called bruxism. Though bruxism is not a life-threatening disease, it can cause damage to your teeth, muscles, and joints of the face, depending upon the duration and the intensity involved when you clench or grind your teeth. Not to worry though – you can tackle this condition by using a bruxism mouth guard.

What’s A Bruxism Mouth Guard?

A bruxism mouth guard is an appliance used to protect your teeth from the damage caused by habitual clenching or grinding. It covers your teeth and partly your gums.

bruxism mouth guard

Try a bruxism mouth guard to avoid unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth.

Some Features Of The Bruxism Mouth Guard

A bruxism mouth guard:

  • Acts as a shock absorber and protects your teeth by preventing contact between your upper and lower teeth
  • Is usually transparent
  • May be flexible, semi-rigid, or rigid
  • Can cover either the upper or lower teeth
  • Must be worn while you are sleeping
  • Can be worn by both adults and children

A bruxism mouth guard can also be helpful in certain other situations, such as in contact sports (boxing and football), ailments of the jaw joint, stabilizing the upper and lower teeth, and dental procedures like tooth bleaching.

Questions To Ask While Buying A Bruxism Mouth Guard

To ensure that you get the right bruxism mouth guard for your problems, these are some of the questions that you should ask while picking one up.

  • Will it cause difficulty during breathing?
  • Is it durable?
  • Is it easy to use i.e. is it easy to insert and remove the mouth guard?
  • Is it easy to clean?

The Different Types Of Bruxism Mouth Guards

Stock/Ready-made Mouth Protectors

  • They are manufactured in bulk in various sizes and are ready for instant use.
  • They are reasonably priced, and are available at pharmacies and sports shops.
  • As they are ready-made, they might be slightly ill-fitting. Adjustments cannot be made to improve their fit, but they can be trimmed a little using a pair of scissors.
  • They are not routinely recommended by dentists.

Boil And Bite Mouth Protectors

  • Also called mouth-adapted guards, these popular mouth guards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens on heating and hardens on cooling.
  • They fit much better than ready-made mouth guards.
  • Prior to use, place this mouth guard in hot water to soften it. Then place it in your mouth and gently adjust it over your teeth using your fingers and tongue.

Custom-fitted Mouth Protectors

  • Made of resin, these mouth guards provide the best fit and comfort, and form the greatest shield when you grind your teeth.
  • They are slightly expensive compared to the other options.
  • These are intended for use only in a particular patient, and are made at the dentist’s clinic or in a dental laboratory.
  • Your dentist needs to take a measurement of your teeth to make this type of mouth guard for you.

Is Your Bruxism Mouth Guard Comfortable To Wear?

When the mouth guard has been placed in your mouth, you must check for certain things:

  • Is the mouth guard seated completely?
  • Does it feel unsettled?
  • Is it causing you any pain or discomfort?
  • Are your gums feeling pinched as a result of wearing the mouth guard?

If you’ve answered any of these questions with a ‘yes’, do consult your dentist for further advice.

Various brands of mouth guards are available commercially, and manufacturers claim that there are mouth guards suited for a variety of conditions such as smaller mouths, sensitive gums, and severe bruxers. However, the best person to recommend a bruxism mouth guard would be your dentist, so make sure that you consult him before making a decision.

Bruxism Treatment – How To Get A Permanent Solution

If you persistently grind and clench your teeth, most often unintentionally or unconsciously, you might suffer from a condition called bruxism. While this condition is not life-threatening, you must undergo bruxism treatment to prevent irreversible damage to your teeth and their surrounding structures (joints).

bruxism treatment

Start your bruxism treatment with a hot water bottle to soothe your jaw muscles.

Bruxism Treatment – The Factors That Count

A precise treatment for bruxism is based upon certain factors such as:

  • Your age
  • The cause of bruxism
  • Underlying medical problems
  • Extent of the damage caused

Bruxism Treatment – How To Deal With The Condition

Bruxism treatment involves providing relief from the pain, managing the damage already done to your dental structure, preventing further damage, and doing away with the habit.

Practice Simple Measures To Limit The Condition

Here are some simple measures you can take to reduce the pain caused by bruxism and deal with the condition:

  • Use either a hot water bottle or a cold compress over the jaw muscles to relieve the soreness, or place a warm cloth over your cheeks (just in front of your earlobe) to relax your jaw muscles
  • Refrain from eating hard food items like nuts
  • Get enough undisturbed sleep at night
  • Minimize your levels of stress and anxiety
  • Practise relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation
  • Reduce the pain and soreness by massaging the muscles of the face, neck, and shoulders to help release stress, or ask someone at home to do it for you
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea and coke), especially at night
  • If you habitually chew gum, now is the time to stop it, as constant chewing makes the jaw muscles tense and increases the risk of bruxism
  • Do away with habits like chewing on the ends of pencils
  • Make a conscious effort to relax your face and jaw muscles during your waking hours
  • If you are grinding your teeth when awake, place your tongue between your teeth to stop doing so

Pay A Visit To The Dentist

When you plan a visit to your dentist, ensure that you carry a list of your symptoms, the medication you are currently on, and any queries you have regarding the condition.

If the dentist identifies the cause of bruxism (sleep disorders or certain medicines), he will refer you to a physician who can cure you of the underlying problem. Although not a common practice, your dentist may prescribe a few doses of medication to relax your muscles (muscle relaxants).

He may also prescribe a mouth guard to protect your teeth and prevent them from damage when you clench or grind them.

Give Biofeedback A Shot

Biofeedback is a relatively new technique that aids patients in consciously making an effort not to grind their teeth. It can help you only if you clench or grind your teeth when you are awake and is not to be used if you are a sleep ‘bruxer’.

This technique uses an electronic instrument to detect muscle activity and informs you if there is any increase in the muscle activity usually identified with bruxism. This will help you keep a check on the condition.

Consult A Physical Therapist Or A Counselor

Visit a counselor to help reduce stress levels and make you a calmer person, which in turn reduces bruxism. Seek the aid of a physical therapist to learn stretching exercises, to maintain optimal balance in the muscles of your face, neck, and shoulders.

With plenty of options available for bruxism treatment, it is highly recommended that you immediately get to the root of this troublesome condition, which is not fatal but can definitely damage your teeth!

Gingivitis Treatment Options – Steps For A Permanent Cure

Gingivitis or gum disease progresses through various stages, and culminates in tooth loss or the necessary removal of the tooth. It is a treatable and reversible condition, and depending on the stage at which the gingivitis symptoms are identified, you can choose the right gingivitis treatment option.

In order to cure gingivitis, there are certain measures that you can follow at home while certain procedures need to be performed by your dentist. 

Gingivitis Treatment – Measures You Can Follow At Home

  • Regular Brushing And Flossing

    This is the first line of defense against gingivitis. If you are unsure about the right technique of brushing, consult your dentist, as he’ll be able to help you solve this difficulty.

    Brushing removes the plaque from your teeth and gum margins, eliminating the irritant. Here are some tips that you can effortlessly follow:

    • Use a fluoridated toothpaste while brushing.
    • Do not rush through your brushing. Spend close to two minutes and make sure that you clean all areas of your mouth, including your tongue.
    • Do not use a hard bristled brush, be kind to your gums and always go for a softer one.
    gingivitis treatment

    Brushing and flossing regularly is one among the easiest gingivitis treatment options

    You should floss your teeth everyday, as this will help you remove plaque from places that the toothbrush cannot reach (between your teeth and under your gum line).

  • Rinsing

    After brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash will help you remove the bacteria that may have been left behind. This is an effective step when it comes to gingivitis treatment.

    Studies have shown that the use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash reduces the build-up of plaque in between appointments with your dentist.

  • Following A Proper Diet

    Consuming a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients will help your body ward off an attack by bacteria, and this holds good even for the bacteria in your mouth. You don’t have to follow this as gingivitis treatment – a good diet is healthy anyway!

    Avoid frequently consuming foods with high sugar content, and this directly contributes to an increase in the build-up of plaque and bacteria.

  • Choosing A Stress-Free Life

    Physical and mental stress can decrease your body’s ability to fight off infections or diseases, and this is applicable in the case of gingivitis treatment too.

    Extreme levels of stress disturbs daily practices such as brushing and flossing, so keep away from pressurizing situations and habits such as smoking. The chemicals and heat from a cigarette can irritate the gums, causing gingivitis.

Gingivitis Treatment – The Role Of Dental Check-Ups

Regular visits to your dentist can help in detecting gingivitis at the initial stage, which makes gingivitis treatment an easier process. Cleaning the teeth with the help of your dentist twice twice a year prevents the build-up of plaque and bacteria, the primary gingivitis causes.

People with known risk factors for developing gingivitis such as diabetes, certain cancers, AIDS, or a known family history of gum problems should visit the dentist more frequently.

Your dentist will also repair the misaligned teeth, replace worn-out or improperly made appliances and fill the decayed teeth whenever required.

To control gingivitis and prevent its recurrence, you and your dentist have to work hand in hand. Following the gingivitis treatment instructions provided by your dentist will help you stay at the peak of your dental health. Of course, instead of dealing with various periodontal disease stages, it is always a good idea for you to learn how to prevent gingivitis.

Gingivitis Causes Explained – A Peek Behind The Scenes

Gingivitis or ‘gum disease’ is an inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. By learning how to prevent gingivitis, you can avoid gingivitis causes and keep your oral cavity in perfect health.

The Primary Gingivitis Causes

When basic dental hygiene is not followed, the bacteria in the mouth trigger the gradual decay of the teeth and gums. For this reason, almost all gingivitis causes can be attributed to bad dental hygiene. When this condition is ignored, it proceeds to advanced periodontal disease stages and causes much damage to the dental structure.

The Effect Of Plaque

Gingivitis develops when plaque accumulates in the areas between the teeth. Plaque is a thin sticky layer that consists of bacteria, food debris, and certain minerals. It forms a thin film over the tooth, and breaks it down, infecting the whole region.

gingivitis causes

Unclean braces and accessories also rank among the main gingivitis causes

When plaque accumulates around the neck of your teeth, the gum margins get irritated, leading to redness, swelling, bleeding, and pain. Gingivitis may progress towards the surrounding structures (including the bone) when this layer of plaque gets hardened, a form that is termed Calculus/Tartar. The formation of plaque in the teeth is the reason behind most gingivitis causes.

Other Gingivitis Causes And Risk Factors

There are certain predisposing factors that, along with plaque, trigger gingivitis and its progression.

  • Infections and diseases like diabetes, blood cancer, or AIDS can cause gingivitis
  • Hormonal changes in the body, during cycles like pregnancy and puberty, can increase the sensitivity of the gums to plaque
  • Misaligned teeth, the rough edges of fillings, and ill-fitting or unclean mouth appliances (dentures, braces, bridges, and crowns) can act as a cavity for the accumulation of plaque and bacterial growth
  • Medications such as steroids, blood pressure pills, and even seizure or birth control pills can increase the risk of developing gingivitis
  • Unhealthy habits like smoking have been known to increase the risk of gingivitis
  • Emotional stress can sometimes trigger the onset of gingivitis
  • Undernourished people are susceptible to gingivitis
  • Injury caused due to overzealous brushing can lead to gingivitis
  • Genetic predisposition is one among the key gingivitis causes, especially if it’s known to occur in the family
  • A weakened or a suppressed immune system, especially during anti-cancer treatment and after organ transplants can lead to gingivitis

Following proper oral hygiene can help you prevent the accumulation of plaque, which is one of the key gingivitis causes. That way, you are assured of excellent dental health and don’t need to worry about gingivitis symptoms or the need for gingivitis treatment.