Bruxism: what happens if it is not treated?

The causes of bruxism are poorly understood, although stress is considered to be the most important trigger.

What treatment should be followed?

There is no specific treatment to stop teeth grinding or jaw clenching. However, there are ways to reduce or, at the very least, control bruxism with individualized dental splints (custom-fitted mouthguards).

The risks of bruxism

The risks of untreated bruxism are multiple:

  • Wear and tear of the dental enamel and the teeth themselves (which favors the formation of cavities and dental sensitivity to cold, heat and sweets), which can lead to breaking a tooth or molar or produce dental mobility.
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders susceptible to cause daytime head, ear and neck pain, tension headaches, discomfort when opening the mouth, clicks and noises in the joint, difficulty chewing (as the muscles of the mandibular and masseter area are inflamed), even this pathology can trigger micro-awakenings, which makes you not rest properly and feel fatigue during the day.

What advice should the patient follow?

It is important for the patient to be aware that he/she has a parafunctional habit and that he/she should stop every time he/she notices that he/she is doing it, thus trying to correct the bruxism during wakefulness, while at night the use of unloading plates is recommended to protect the teeth, the musculature and the temporomandibular joint.