Bruxism - What is it really?

Bruxism - What is it really?

By Steven R. Olmos

DDS, DABCP, DAAPM, FAAOP, FAACP, FICCMO, FADI Adjunct Professor, University of Tennessee Memphis College of Dentistry

Headaches, facial pain, limited mandibular opening, jaw noises (popping and clicking), bruxism/attrition, broken teeth and OSA (ob- structed sleep apnea) are all reasons that pa- tients seek dental care. Palliative treatment is prescribed from one of the various options of: oral appliances, dental equilibra- tion, medication regimens and physical medi- cine treatments (botox). Too frequently these treatments are prescribed without addressing the most important question: Why is the pa- tient grinding their teeth? To provide optimum care and direction for patients, it is important to understand the mechanism behind this parafunctional activity.