Bruxism can be loosely defined as the habit of clenching or grinding your teeth. It usually involves clenching, especially at night when you’re sleeping, but it can also involve jaw thrusting and other unusual habits that put pressure on your teeth. We explain more about it on this page: https://tesclinic.com/services/bruxism/.
People brux for different reasons. Some are able to stop once they are aware of it, while others have a harder time controlling this bad habit. Symptoms include discomfort in your jaws, headache, earaches, tender gums, worn tooth enamel, or even broken teeth.
You may also notice that you clench or grind more intensely when you’re stressed out about something. There are a myriad of ways in which bruxism may affect your life.
● Bruxism can Cause you to Lose Sleep
It may keep you up at night due to the discomfort experienced after teeth clenching/grinding. The bruxing action of your jaw muscles placing pressure on your teeth while sleeping is likely to disturb your normal sleep pattern both in terms of duration and quality. You may also experience difficulty falling asleep or waking up tired even if you have had adequate amounts of sleep time.
● Sleep Deprivation Affects your Overall Health
Chronic lack of sleep has been associated with reduced energy levels, mood swings, impaired memory, reduced cognitive function, and an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. So perhaps that’s reason enough to work toward stopping bruxism.
● Bruxism can Interfere with your Personal as well as Professional Life
Teeth grinding and clenching can cause severe jaw, neck, and facial pain, which is very uncomfortable. It may also lead to broken teeth and expensive dental bills. And because you’re not resting at night due to bruxism, it can affect your concentration levels during the day – whether it’s a meeting with a client or a class lecture – making you appear unfocused around others. This might impact your working relationships or performance appraisal rating at work.
However, there are effective treatments for bruxism in Singapore, mainly via fixing malocclusions (misalignment of teeth) and by providing oral appliance therapy that allows you to stop the bruxing action. Therefore, do not ignore this problem as it can impact your physical and psychological well-being.
Is bruxism Damage Reversible?
If you immediately stopped the clenching/grinding habit, any tooth damage due to excessive teeth pressure would be reversible. However, if you continue with this habit over a long period of time, leading to chronic teeth misalignment (malocclusion), then there is little or no chance for them to return back to their normal positions even after treatment has resolved the clenching/grinding issue.
Once your molars are shifted backward, they may never move forward again. So try your best to break this bad oral habit before irreversible damage occurs.
There are many different types of bruxism in Singapore, some with more severe consequences than others. Symptoms range from tooth clenching and tooth grinding to the unusual habit of tongue thrusting, cheek biting, and lip chewing.
If you’ve been diagnosed with bruxism, the next step is to find out how severe your symptoms are and whether or not they’re affecting other areas of your life, such as your family, work, and social activities.
Here’s a list of questions that may help you understand the effects bruxism has on you:
- How often do I clench or grind my teeth?
- Do I feel pain in one or more teeth? If so, when was this first noted? How frequent and intense is it? What is the location of the pain – front, back, upper, lower teeth? Does this happen when I’m asleep at night – grinding/clenching my teeth? Do any jaw muscles hurt?
- How many hours a day do I clench/grind my teeth during the waking hours? Do I do it while awake but not talking or about to speak, while eating, or at any other time? Am I aware of clenching/grinding my teeth after I wake up in the morning and before going to bed at night?
- When I clench/grind my teeth, is there any movement of the facial muscles (other than those used for chewing)? For example, are there muscle spasms around or behind the eyes? Do these occur only when I’m awake or also when asleep? Are they worse when under stress or strain – physical activities such as sports, mental stress like exams, etc.
- Do I clench/grind my teeth only when under stress, or am I always clenching/grinding them?
- Do I frequently swallow while eating and talking? Do I ever choke on food because of this action? Does food get caught in the back of my throat on a regular basis?
- Does your jaw lock up on you at random times during the day? Can you open your mouth fully without pain or restriction of movement? How does it feel if someone tries to open your mouth wider than is comfortable for you?
- Can you voluntarily move your jaw muscles independent of other muscle groups, i.e., can you protrude your lower jaw forward while keeping your head stationary with respect to the neck muscles, or cause any other abnormal movement of your jaw muscles with respect to the skull?
What Happens if Bruxism is Left Untreated?
There are several treatment options for bruxism in Singapore depending on the severity, so; there is practically no reason to leave it untreated. Severe cases of bruxism can lead to major dental problems, such as fractured teeth, damaged fillings, worn tooth enamel, gum damage, and receding gums.
It is important to note that bruxism is NOT just a sleep disorder. The main source of the problem, which actually begins in childhood, lies in hormonal imbalances or deficiencies or an incorrect bite resulting from malocclusion (misalignment of teeth).
If left untreated, bruxism can lead to more serious health problems down the road, such as TMJ problems, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Headaches / Migraines, Insomnia. This condition has also been associated with drug abuse, especially cocaine use.
The best way to treat this troubling habit is through orthodontics – fixing malocclusions by relaxing overly tight muscles, and opening up blocked air passages. As the jaw gradually returns to its normal position, gums and bones will return to their natural state as well.
Bruxism can be managed so that you can get back to living a comfortable and healthy life. Seek help from your dentist and/or doctor if you think you have this condition so that it doesn’t escalate into anything worse.
At TES Clinic, our team of experts is constantly seeking innovative techniques to upgrade the quality of dental services that we provide. Being one of the top clinics in Singapore, we have had a lot of experience treating patients who suffer from bruxism and other dental problems. If you are struggling with the same problem, contact us now to set up an appointment. Call: +65 6737 0552.
TES Clinic for Face & Jaw
304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza Suites #05-42, Medical Specialists, 238863
+65 9735 9930