What Is Bruxism?

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Bruxism refers to a habit that is exhibited by about ten percent of world’s population. It is mainly manifested by grinding teeth and clenching jaws. As a result of this friction, the teeth break and wear our and the jaws are disorder ed causing pain as well as limited movement. Headaches are also experienced by patients. Bruxism happens in both adults and children. It is however very common among persons aged between 25 years and 44 years old. Even so, there are many people who clench or grind their teeth to a certain extent on occasional basis. Bruxism may be classified into two. The first type is referred to as awake bruxism. This is mostly manifested by involuntary bracing of jaws and teeth clenching in response to a given stimuli. With awake bruxism, grinding of teeth usually does not happen. On the other hand, sleep bruxism is manifested by reflex grinding of teeth with sustained and rhythmic contractions of jaw muscles.

How Bruxism Occurs

There are two forms of bruxism namely primary and secondary. Primary bruxism is the one that manifests in situations where no medical condition existed previously. On the other hand, secondary bruxism is the one that occurs in a situation where previous psychiatric or medical condition is well known. Grinding of teeth that happens during secondary and awake bruxism is mostly linked to some medications such as recreational drugs like ecstasy and cocaine, antidepressants or disorders like major anxiety, depression and the Parkinson’s disease. Sleep bruxism is mostly seen to occur in response to triggers during sleep. This trend indicates a sleep disorder and studies show that almost 80 percent of bruxism attacks happen in clusters over sleep and are linked to certain arousals. The major linkage has been seen to be between sleep bruxism and a condition called obstructive sleep apnoea. This condition is mostly complemented by non-restorative sleep and day time sleepiness.

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