Bruxism is jaw clenching and teeth grinding that can occur either during sleep alone or during sleep and wakefulness. The incidence in adults ranges from 5% to 96%, and 15% in children. Both sexes are equally affected. In children, the symptoms are usually transient and resolve around age seven to 10 years when secondary dentition normally occurs. Brux-ism occurs during a subconscious and reflex controlled stage such as during rapid eye movement sleep or when the patient’s conscious attention is directed elsewhere. Because bruxism occurs most frequently during sleep, only 5% to 20% of people with this behaviour are aware that it exists.
The etiology of bruxism is uncertain but appears to be associated with stress and occlusal discrepancies. Adults under stress or with ‘type A’ personality traits have a higher incidence of bruxism. Intensity of the symptoms is related to an individual’s level of stress. Occlusal discrepancies such as faulty dentition, faulty restoration or dental trauma result in improper contact between the teeth. It is hypothesized that as a person attempts to reduce such improper contact between teeth, reflex receptors elicit contraction of the jaw muscles. buy asthma inhaler
Bruxism is common in patients with allergies, colitis, gastritis and hypertension, and at the time of menopause. Drugs such as amphetamines, phenothiazines, levodopa and ethanol have been reported to precipitate bruxism. For example, tardive dyskinesia secondary to neuroleptic agents can manifest as bruxism and result in severe destruction of tooth structure.
Due to excessive force exerted during teeth grinding, lack of treatment can result in various problems. These include tooth attrition, jaw pain, headache, decreased jaw opening range, sensitive teeth, mastication muscle pain and fatigue. Locking and cracking of the jaws can also occur.