Bruxism Can Affect Other Parts Of The Body

Most people go through a phase of bruxism at some period during their lives but this usually passes by itself and does not cause any medical complications. This is not a disease but a subconscious action or habit that can affect people both when awake and asleep but the serious bruxism effects occurs in those who suffer from it while asleep. While bruxism is not a disease but more of an uncontrollable habit, it can, if it continues for a long period, affect the overall health and lead to other medical problems arising.

Bruxism is usually divided into two categories – the short term and the long term and the effects and consequences of both are different. Short term bruxism effects include such problems as headaches (patients are more likely to suffer from headaches by a factor of three), earaches, aching facial and jaw muscles, difficulty in fully opening the mouth, pain and stiffness in the shoulders, sleep disruption, loose and falling teeth and inflamed gums among others health issues.

In the case of short term bruxism, the habit gradually fades away and as it does, the other related problems also do so and the patient usually requires no treatment. One often overlooked affect of bruxism is the way it can damage a relationship. The grinding of the teeth and disturbed sleep of the patient can affect the sleep patterns of a spouse or partner to the extent that the patient begins to sleep aone and this could, in the long run, seriously damage a relationship.

If bruxism persists and does not fade away by itself over time, it is categorized as long term bruxism and this may have far more serious effects and require specialized medical care. The most common and obvious bruxism effect is the damage to the teeth by the grinding – worn and broken teeth are common in those who have suffered from bruxism for a long time. While this can be repaired through orthodontic surgery and the fitting of caps, false teeth or complete dentures, nothing can be done until the symptoms of bruxism completely disappear. More serious, from the point of long term health problems is the Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ that results from the stress that bruxism places on the jaw, shoulder and other muscles. Although in many cases physiotherapy can provide effective treatments, many cases often require heavy medication or even surgical intervention to treat the bruxism related problems.

Since it is not a life threatening disease and the many bruxism effects are not widely known, most people treat the problem lightly. Remember that bruxism effects go far beyond the mouth and jaws and the affects of bruxism on other parts of the body can lead to major health problems.

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