Fourteen year old Jacob would constantly wake up with a headache, and say that he wanted to stay at home away from school.
His parents did not worry at all the first time it happened.
However, when Jacob said the same thing five or six times, they started worrying about things like underage drinking, brain tumours and mental disorders and so on.
It was a relief in one way for the parents to discover that their son had the problem of ‘bruxism’, or teeth grinding or clenching during sleep, something that is extremely common among teenagers.
The teeth will grind together when he is asleep, creating a rather loud unbearable sound. Furthermore, the teenager may clench his jaws tightly during the night, causing headaches and pain in his jaws.
Bruxism may either be mild and may happen occasionally, or it may happen so often that the teen may end up inadvertently damaging his teeth.
What are the causes of teen bruxism? They may range from an abnormal alignment of the upper and lower jaws, causing friction and jaw grinding. On the other hand, it may be caused by tension, stress, and anger.
For teenagers and adults, the duration of bruxism usually depends on what has caused it. If the bruxism is stress or tension and anger related, it can last for longer, because these need longer periods of treatment.
If it is caused by simple misalignment, however, it can be handled effectively and immediately.
How can teen bruxism be handled? Here are some methods:
- Visit the dentist, who will provide you with a dental appliance that will stop the teeth grinding against each other when your teen is asleep. These are called night guards, and can be used when your teen goes to bed at night. A very effective tool, it will soon bring an end to the pain associated with bruxism.
- Some experts recommend hypnosis, to help your teen get rid of suppressed anger and tension, which are causing bruxism. The hypnotist allows the subconscious mind of the teen feel the sensation created when bruxism happens, and at that moment, the teen is asked to relax the jaw. This treatment works well for many teenagers with the problem of bruxism.
- Some experts recommend mild tranquilisers for the teen, especially if the bruxism is stress related. Professional counselling would help your teen deal with the issues that he is labouring under, and this in itself may offer a cure for the bruxism.
No matter what the issue may be, make sure you visit the dentist and ask for his suggestions before you seek alternative treatment. Bruxism can be handled and cured easily.