If you often have cervical contractures, ear discomfort, or headaches, especially during high-stress times, you may be suffering from bruxism and don’t know it.
Wear of tooth enamel, jaw pain, and tooth sensitivity are typical symptoms of bruxism, which occurs when a person clenches or grinds their teeth repeatedly and is generally unconscious, especially when sleeping.
This pressure, which can be up to five times stronger than what we do when chewing, damages the teeth, which wear out and lose their enamel. It can also cause dislocations in the jaw and pain in the head, ears, or neck.
In general, the person you sleep with is the one who detects the characteristic squeak it causes. However, a very reliable diagnostic tool is nocturnal electromyography, a test that measures the chewing muscles’ function.
The main trigger is stress since tension accumulates in the jaw, which uses the night to release it by clenching the teeth. To avoid the problem or at least slow it down:
Do relaxation and stretching exercises for your jaw muscles. For example, try this: stretch your neck by lifting your chin and throwing your jaw forward. Stay in this position for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
Give yourself a self-massage to loosen the muscles around your jaw. Bring the two index fingers from the earlobes to the cheeks and repeat 15 times. Don’t chew gum frequently because the damage could get worse.
The use of discharge splints is every day. It is a custom-made resin piece, which the affected person must place between the teeth before going to bed. Thanks to it, the jaw is more relaxed, and the teeth are protected.
If the teeth are damaged, using porcelain crowns (a kind of dental caps) helps restore the shape of the teeth and prevent them from wearing out.
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