No, this is not a form of medieval torture nor is it a social/political movement; it is in fact a common medical condition afflicting many people. Bruxism (pronounced brucks-ism) is a physical condition where a person grinds their teeth and clenches their jaw during sleep.
Sufferers of bruxism can often feel the effects of a night of good teeth grinding the following day by presenting with symptoms including headaches, jaw pain, tooth chipping and fractures, and even tooth loss! If symptoms of the condition are not immediate, then overtime-bruxism-sufferers will notice tooth wear. Alternatively some people will not present with any symptoms at all unless the wear and tear is picked up by a dentist. Bruxism sufferers can often be made aware of their suffering by partners and family members as teeth grinding can be forceful and consequently audible.
The cause of bruxism is questionable but it is diagnosed to be a result of a number of ailments including, but not limited to, stress and anxiety, disturbed sleep, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, large consumption of stimulants (eg. coffee), digestive problems and consumption of drugs/stimulants.
Bruxism is most commonly controlled with the aid of a custom-made splint or mouth guard. This uncomfortable-to-wear guard is made of durable plastic moulded from a sufferer’s teeth/gum impression and stops wear and tear of teeth. Various forms of relaxation (eg. meditation) before bedtime are recommended for sufferers if stress/anxiety is thought to be the cause. Sore mouth/jaw muscles often manifests as a result of teeth grinding so Botox has been proven as a successful form of treatment as it relaxes the muscles in the area and prevents further muscle contraction.
6 years ago