Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dentists in the Dark About Teeth Grinding - Bruxism?


An example of teeth grinding or bruxism

Even though this piece bags on my colleagues in the United Kingdom for being clueless about teeth grinding or bruxism, I don't believe it.
Teeth grinding and clenching, more commonly referred to as `bruxism` is an involuntary action, usually occurring at night and endured by millions of people in the UK. Although there are many possible causes, the main culprit appears to be stress. The consequences for the chronic bruxer can be severe. Not only can it result in disturbed sleep for themselves, but their partner can lose sleep from the constant grinding and gnashing noises. In the morning, the sufferer may wake up with several symptoms, including a throbbing headache and neck, shoulder and jaw pain. In extreme cases, they may also find that their fillings have become loose or fallen out altogether and teeth are fractured and worn down.

NoBrux, a UK company that specializes in the supply of US made dental guards to dentists and sufferers have carried out a survey on their website [] Respondents were asked "Does your dentist routinely ask whether you grind your teeth and discusses treatment options with you?" Around 80% of respondents said "no"

Sue Hoad, a spokesperson for the company commented:

"The results indicate that dentists are in the dark about the condition and confirms what we already believed was the case so was not surprising to us. Its a different story in the US, where bruxism is much more widely known, both by the dental professional and the public"

"That could be changing though. We are seeing much more press coverage about the condition in the UK. Over the last few weeks there have been two articles in national newspapers about bruxism. In one of them*, Dr Nigel Carter of the British Dental Health Foundation is reported to have said

"Bruxism is certainly not well recognised or treated by the majority of dentists. Generally, they do not learn about such problems in their training"

In ancient times, when I was trained as a dental student we were exposed to bruxism's devastating effects. Progress has been made to further understand the complexity of the disorder and develop treatment modalities.

This piece seems to hype their own appliances and disparage dentists. Be wary......

Flap's advice: Talk to your own dentist if you notice excessive wear of your teeth or experience any nighttime paranormal activity with your jaws while sleeping.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:41 PM

    I am in complete agreement with your view on bruxism and the ill effects it has on a patients oral heath, physical health and psyche. I worked very closely with a dentist in Vancouver, Canada whom did extensive training at the renowned LVI Global in Neuromuscular dentistry. I personally interviewed many patients regarding their ongoing health issues that could not be detected or diagnosed by a medical doctor but was resolved by restoring the dentition with full mouth rehabilitation ( a non surgical procedure ). With new technology there is a computer scan which measure the patients muscle activity demonstrating stress related injury to the Tempomandibular joint and the surrounding muscles.

    Lesley Morris
    Practice Management Consultant