Bruxism is a condition that causes chronic grinding of teeth or jaw clenching. This is a common condition that affects millions of people in the United Kingdom. Yet despite its prevalence, there's so much misinformation about bruxism. That's why we have written this post dispelling the top six myths about teeth grinding.
Myth 1:Bruxism is not a serious health concern
Given that a lot of people clench their jaws when stressed, it makes sense why someone would assume bruxism is harmless or, the very least, not something to worry about. This couldn't be further from the truth. Left unchecked bruxism can result in serious concerns that worsen quickly. These include tooth wear, breakage or loss, gum recession, and jaw disorders(trouble opening and closing your jaw), among other alarming effects. If you are suffering bruxism, make sure you take some preventative measures.
Myth 2:Bruxism will go away on its own over time
While in some instances—especially in young children—bruxism does resolve itself and go away, this is not always the case. More often than not, professional medical intervention is needed. In our previous post, 6 Possible Causes Of Bruxism, we discussed the different causes of bruxism and most of these just don't go away. As long as the underlying cause for the bruxism exists, the symptoms will remain. Suppose you're experiencing tooth sensitivity, dull morning headaches, or any other signs of bruxism. In that case, it's encouraged to get the condition diagnosed and treated sooner rather than later.
Myth 3: There's no cure for teeth grinding
This is a very misleading statement, which is only partially true. While no one specific cure for bruxism exists, it doesn't mean you are helpless and there's nothing you can do. The secret to treating bruxism lies in diagnosing the underlying cause. For every patient, the cause of their teeth grinding and jaw clenching may be different than others. Therefore, each person may require different methods of treatment.
Examples of common interventions for bruxism include:
- Relaxation therapies like breathing techniques and meditation may help you deal with anxiety and stress
- Diagnosing and treating sleep disorders such as sleep apnea that are often attributed to sleep bruxism
- Getting Botox injections to treat bruxism
Myth 4: Bruxism affects adults only
A common belief is that bruxism affects only adults. But research has shown that about 14 to 17 percent of children grind their teeth at one stage in their childhood. Most of the time, bruxism in children occurs when their baby teeth emerge and later when their permanent teeth come in. Sleep-related bruxism is quite common among children, with most grinding or clenching of teeth during sleep rather than during waking hours. Therefore the problem of teeth grinding is not limited to adults and can affect people of any age.
Myth 5: Mouthguards will cure teeth grinding
Splints and mouth guards are dental devices designed to reduce the pressure on your jaw and create a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth. This, in turn, protects your teeth from further damage caused by clenching and grinding. They're rubber or plastic and can be custom made by a dentist to fit your mouth, or you can buy generic ones from a pharmacist. As you can see, mouth guards and splints work to mainly reduce the symptoms of bruxism and don't tackle the underlying cause. Also, generic mouth guards can be very tough, bulky and disproportionate, causing more discomfort than they solve.
Myth 6: Botox treatment for bruxism is dangerous
Some common misconceptions about Botox include:
- Botox injections are painful
- Botox injections lead to a frozen face
- Botox is toxic
- Botox is addictive
All these myths seek to drive one point: Botox is dangerous. As a result, many people are afraid of getting a Botox treatment, even when it might offer the exact solution they are looking for. Yet it would take a dose of more than 100 times the average dose given for cosmetic use for Botox to be toxic! Also, Botox has been FDA approved for treating a wide range of conditions for over 20 years. Botox has a long history of safety and only in rare cases has it causes severe side effects. That said, it's always advisable to work with a qualified doctor when getting Botox injections of any kind. Most of the Botox horror stories you find online can be attributed to back-alley injectors who have no business injecting Botox in anyone.
Bruxism is a condition that goes undiagnosed in most cases. But in the past couple of years, there has been more effort to bring more awareness to this condition that affects many people in the United Kingdom. If you wonder if your bruxism can be treated with Botox, please contact us today to book a consultation.