Teeth grinding, also known as ‘bruxism’, occurs when a person grinds or clenches their teeth. It may seem like the person is chewing but in reality they are not and it usually happens at night time. Done occasionally, teeth grinding doesn’t pose much harm but if done regularly, it can damage teeth and oral health.
It is said that the condition may be the result of stress, but an incorrect bite and misaligned teeth can also contribute to teeth grinding. However, it can be prevented by reducing stress and correcting misaligned teeth through the use of invisalign or 6 month braces.
How to Treat Teeth Grinding
The masseter muscle is quite a strong muscle in your lower jaw that is usually the main muscle involved in teeth grinding. It can grow to quite a large size when used very frequently, similar to how any other muscle in your body gets bigger if you work it out. Excessive teeth grinding and clenching not only causes damage to your teeth, with broken fillings and fractures becoming more common, but it can also contribute to jaw, facial and neck pain.
Some very small injections of relaxants can allow the over worked masseter muscle to relax, and shrink back to its normal size. The effects of this injection wear off after anywhere from 2 – 6 months, where a repeat treatment may be needed. The aim of treatment is to eventually switch off the grinding habit as during those months of relaxation, your muscle is reducing in strength and size,.