Bruxism is certainly not well recognised or treated by the majority of dentists
Teeth grinding is endured by millions of people in the UK but don't expect your dentist to know much about the condition.
Fleet, Hampshire. 21st April 2009 - 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 [http://www.nobrux.co.uk] 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"*
"NoBrux is putting a lot of effort into informing dentists and increasing awareness in the profession, including visiting dental schools to talk about bruxism. Questions about treatments often come up and we try to cover all the common ones. Some, such as regular botox injections are new and still to be proven. The most common response to bruxism by dentists is to fit a custom guard to protect teeth from damage. As well as being uncomfortable for many people, they can cost hundreds of pounds and require more than one visit to the dentist to get it fitting right"
"Although relatively new to the UK, the SleepRight ready to wear dental guards are top sellers in America where looking after the teeth and maintaining a beautiful smile is part of the culture. Spending a modest amount on a dental guard to protect the teeth is seen as a necessary and wise investment. There are other low cost teeth protectors available in the UK to choose from, but customers take comfort from the fact that our range of SleepRight dental guards are the only ones that are CE certified and have been approved by the British Dental Health Foundation"
For more information about dental guards for bruxism visit http://www.nobrux.co.uk
or call on 0845 299 7089
* Mail on Sunday - 23rd March 2009
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