The Journal of Orofacial Pain published an article in the spring of 2013 entitled, “Epidemiology of bruxism in adults: systematic review of the literature.” The author stated that bruxism, or the more common name, teeth grinding, plagues between 10%-30% of the population. Bruxism comes from the Greek word brygm?s, which means “gnashing of teeth.” Some people grind their teeth while sleeping (sleep bruxism), and others grind when they are awake (awake bruxism).
THE SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF GRINDING TEETH
Both forms of teeth grinding are, for the most part, an unconscious act. It is impossible to stop the grinding when asleep; the effects are felt in the morning upon awakening. Sleep bruxism causes headaches and jaw pain upon awaking from the pressure and abuse the whole head has suffered during the night. Grinding teeth also causes cheek biting in the night. In severe cases, a tooth might actually chip off, and small pieces are in the mouth.
Grinding teeth while awake has fewer side effects that can be felt, but could cause headaches and jaw pain by the afternoon. Day time grinding is less harmful because of other activities and distractions that keep the teeth apart during the day, such as eating, talking and chewing gum.
THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF GRINDING TEETH
Regardless of the time of day you grind your teeth, long-term damage is being done to your teeth, directly and indirectly to the whole head. Symptoms include:
Chronic Jaw Pain
Tooth wear can be a serious problem when the surface of the enamel is worn off due to the continual grinding motion. As the enamel wears off, it allows cavities to form more easily, and it can expose the dentin, which is a softer, defenseless part of the tooth, where decay can happen very quickly.
Tooth pain is also very common since the teeth are constantly being moved by the force to the other set of teeth. In cases where there is gingivitis and periodontal disease, both of which affect the gums, the teeth may already be loosened.
Chronic Jaw Pain can also develop as the jaw muscles become overexerted. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) located in the hinge of the jaw can become very sore and inflamed. In people who have suffered a TMJ injury due to a car accident or other whiplash event, grinding teeth can be debilitating. Along with the pain in the jaw, radiating pain can cause unbearable headaches in the temporal areas of the head.
TREATMENT FOR TEETH GRINDING
Many devices can help teeth grinding. Some are over-the-counter inserts that can be placed into the mouth at night. Others are custom made splints a dentist must make. These splints can be worn day and/or night to relieve the problems associated with teeth grinding.
Unless the dentist determines the teeth grinding is caused by some injury or genetic factor, many bruxism sufferers have found great relief in meditation. Most teeth grinding is just common stress that manifests itself as tension in the jaw and face. Learning to meditate and practicing it regularly has helped many “bruxers.”
– See more at: http://www.healthhub360.com/meditation-is-the-best-cure-for-grinding-teeth/#sthash.24qtL0b1.dpuf