Bruxism is the medical term for clenching and grinding of one’s teeth. Of course, everybody does that sometimes, without being an actual bruxomaniac. This latter category refers to having manic behavioral patterns such as biting the inside of one’s cheeks, biting one’s fingernails or biting one’s pen. Grinding of the teeth can affect oral health when it occurs due to a repetitive nervous twitch. Among the common symptoms caused by bruxism one could count sensitive teeth, painful gums, headaches, neck, ear and shoulder pain as well as tense muscles. Sometimes, grinding can expose the inside part of the teeth, which is quite painful.
Statistics and diagnosis
Many people who suffer from bruxism are totally unaware, as their compulsive behavior occurs exclusively during sleep. This is why bruxism can pass unnoticed and undiagnosed for a long time.
It is believed that over 30% of people are bruxomaniacs. This percent varies function of a series of factors, such as stress, although the precise connection between the two has remained unproved. Also, the number of women affected by bruxism appears to be somewhat larger than that of men.
Improving this condition by means of alternative therapy
With extreme bruxomania, drugs can be used to treating this condition while damaged dentition caused by manic grinding of the teeth can be surgically repaired. However, there are a few alternatives to traditional therapy in order to hold bruxism under control. Besides using special mouth trays, patients have now the chance to choose yoga, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, medical massage (or self-massage), as well as various techniques of relaxation for the neck, jaws, and face muscles. Should bruxism be caused by stress or sleep disorders, alternative therapy appears to be of some use. However, the efficacy of these methods is still a subject of debate due to insufficient study and concluding experiments.
Common and basic exercises for muscle relaxation believed to fight bruxism include yawing and jaw massage.