ASK A PHYSICAL THERAPIST
- 03 Jun - 09 Jun, 2023
Around one-third of children and about 20 per cent of adults are thought to have bruxism. Bruxism refers to both grinding the teeth as well as teeth clenching. Even though it can happen when you are awake, most people who have bruxism do so while asleep and therefore, don’t know about it. Some are loud enough to wake up their partner, but the majority are silent so generally not even their partner would know about it. So, how can that cause your headaches? When you are awake there is a protective mechanism that prevents you from grinding too long or too hard. But when you are asleep this mechanism shuts down and can cause you to grind on and on, night after night. This eventually causes the symptoms that most people who have bruxism usually complain of – the most common for women are headaches, usually in the temples when waking up in the morning. The headaches usually get better through the day and the whole cycle repeats itself the next morning. Sometimes clicking of the jaw joint can also be felt or heard. It’s usually worse during times of stress. Night guards are usually prescribed and custom fitted to prevent bruxism. A physician will be able to suggest the right one for your condition.
It is just as important to clean dentures as it is to clean your natural teeth. Food can become caught around the edges of dentures and clasps, and the food can rot if you do not clean them thoroughly. You should keep a separate toothbrush for cleaning your dentures. The general rule is: brush, soak and brush again. Clean your dentures over a bowl of water in case you drop them. Brush your dentures before soaking them, to help remove any bits of food. Soak the dentures in a specialist cleaner for a short time and then brush the dentures again. Brush them like you would your natural teeth. Make sure you clean all the surfaces of the dentures, including the surface which fits against your gums. If you notice a build-up of stains or scale, have your dentures cleaned by your dental team. Most dentists still recommend a small- to medium-headed toothbrush.