Bruxism is a condition where you grind, clench, or tighten your teeth over a long period of time. The exact cause of Bruxism remains unknown but may be related to stress or anxiety.
If the behavior affects you, you may need to see a doctor for bruxism. Singapore has a good reputation when it comes to specialists who can help with these types of treatment as well as access to state of the art facilities, so it is one of the destinations you may want to keep in mind when planning to get bruxism treatment.
When should you go to a Doctor for Bruxism?
Bruxism is often painless, but it can cause symptoms which may warrant a visit to a specialist like a maxillofacial surgeon. You should see a doctor for bruxism if you experience or have experienced:
- A sore jaw and/or muscles of the face, jaw joint, head, and neck. This may also be accompanied by clicking, or grating sounds when you move your mouth or jaw
- Damage to the teeth, including loose teeth, worn enamel on teeth, and damage to fillings
- Worn tooth surfaces due to grinding away at one spot all the time
- Tiredness in face muscles. You will notice that your face looks even after sleeping through an entire night. If you sleep with your mouth open, this may result in dry or chapped lips
- You grind so much that your front teeth are moved out of position
- You experience tension headaches
If you think you have bruxism in Singapore, visit an experienced dentist so they can check your teeth and jaw muscles for signs of damage. As bruxism is often caused by stress or sleeping habits, it is important to change the way you deal with these conditions before they lead to more significant damage.
The dentist will also provide advice on how to prevent further injury while guiding on ways to treat the condition. Your dentist might also recommend a visit to an orthodontist who can ensure that any malocclusion or malformation of teeth is corrected.
What are the Treatment Options for Bruxism?
If a dentist diagnoses you with bruxism, they will likely recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from further damage. You basically have two choices:
- A customized night guard that fits over your upper front teeth
- A generic one-size-fits-all version is made from hard plastic material covering your entire upper and lower front teeth.
Customized night guards offer better protection, but they might be more expensive than one-size versions. If you grind mainly during the day rather than at night, it may make sense to get a mouthguard for daytime use instead of one meant only for sleeping.
How can you prevent Bruxism from happening in the First Place?
Preventing bruxism may sound frustrating, but it really doesn’t have to be. To prevent bruxism or correct the underlying cause, it would be best to:
- Learn and practice relaxation and stress management techniques such as yoga and meditation
- Use a muscle relaxant to reduce the amount of tension in your jaw muscles; this should ideally be prescribed by an experienced doctor after diagnosing any underlying conditions that may be causing bruxism
- Seek advice from your dentist on how to manage any malocclusion or malformation of teeth as these problems can contribute to bruxism
- Find out if there is anything wrong with your bite. A dentist might recommend correcting it before anything else. This is especially true if you grind mainly during the daytime. If done correctly, fixing this problem can also prevent further damage caused by nighttime clenching and grinding
- Seek help and advice from your dentist and/or orthodontist on how to correct any malocclusion or malformation of teeth before they contribute to bruxism
- Use a night guard
If none of these tips helps you reduce the symptoms of bruxism in Singapore, seek advice from an experienced doctor on possible treatments such as muscle relaxants and antidepressants that might relieve the severity of symptoms.
What are the Long-term Effects of Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition that can have serious consequences in the short and long term if left unchecked. In addition to damaged teeth, there are other issues you need to be aware of:
- You may develop the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). This results from excessive wear on the joints located in front of your ears which connect your lower jaw with your skull. TMD leads to chronic pain in this area due to inflammation and muscle tension
- Spasms of the jaw muscles will lead to headaches
- Tooth loss
- Changes in facial appearance such as increased furrows or unevenness between different sides of face
- Gaps between teeth
- Cracked teeth which can lead to further problems such as root canal treatment and crowns
- Mental stress and sleeplessness
- If you grind consistently, your teeth may become crooked, or the roots of your teeth might collapse over time. This happens because the pressure exerted by clenching and grinding affects efforts made by your body to grow new bone and keep the existing bone healthy.
- Other problems that Bruxism may cause include: chronic fatigue, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hypersensitivity to touch, or pain in one or more areas of your face such as lips, gums, cheeks, etc., loss of taste sensation, especially on the affected area(s).
If you want to prevent any long-term effects from happening, you need to find out the underlying cause of bruxism. A doctor will be able to make a diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment options like mouthguards for nighttime use, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants which might increase your symptoms in the short term but can reduce damage to your teeth and jaw joints in the long run.
Also, seek advice from an experienced maxillofacial surgeon on how to correct any malocclusion or malformation of teeth as well as preventive measures such as using a night guard before anything else. In addition, visit a doctor immediately if you notice that your symptoms are getting worse rather than better after wearing a mouthguard because this may indicate an underlying health problem such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
At TES Clinic, we offer dental care for people suffering from bruxism. Get in touch with us to learn more about bruxism in Singapore and how we can be of help. Call: +65 6737 0552 / +65 9735 9930.
TES Clinic for Face & Jaw
304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza Suites #05-42, Medical Specialists, 238863
+65 9735 9930