Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth (Bruxism)

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Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding in sleep is called bruxism.

Do you clench, gnash or grind your teeth? Then, you may have a condition known as bruxism. If you have this condition, you may clench your teeth during sleep (sleep bruxism). Some people subconsciously grind or clench their teeth when they are awake (awake bruxism).

What causes teeth grinding in sleep (bruxism)?

Age, lifestyle, family history, habits, sleep issues, stress, anxiety, depression, and other health issues could be the cause. Allergies in children and misaligned teeth and jaw problems in adults can cause bruxism.

Is Bruxism a sleep disorder?

Sleep bruxism is a disorder associated with other health issues as well. For instance, those who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to have sleep apnea (stoppages or pausing in breathing during sleep) or snoring, and other sleep disorders. Therefore, bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder.

What are the signs and symptoms of Bruxism?

If you have bruxism, then you may develop the following signs and symptoms:

  • Clenching or grinding with a loud sound
  • The sound can wake up your partner
  • Sleep disruption
  • Worn enamel
  • Damaged teeth with exposed deeper layers
  • Chipped or loose, fractures or flattened teeth
  • Increased teeth sensitivity or tooth pain
  • Dull headache starting in the temples
  • Soreness or facial pain, neck or jaw pain
  • Stiffness in jaw muscles (tight or tired jaw muscles)
  • Difficulty opening or closing mouth with a painful jaw
  • Locked jaw
  • Earache – a feeling or pain in the ear though it is actually not
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek

Do You Need Treatment for Bruxism?

If you have a mild disorder, you may not require treatment. However, if bruxism has become a frequent and severe problem for you, then you should consider seeking treatment. If the problem continues unattended, then it may lead to damaged teeth, erosion or enamel, jaw pain, jaw disorders, headaches, and other facial issues.

Some people don’t know that they have this problem until they develop some severe problems. This can happen to you as well. Therefore, it is better to understand the signs and symptoms of bruxism and seek regular dental care from experts.

When to see your dentist?

You must see your dentist without wasting your time if you have any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms. In addition, you should also seek an appointment if you have any other issues related to your jaw or teeth.

This is important. Your child may have bruxism. If you notice any signs and symptoms of bruxism in your child, then bring those to the notice of your child’s dentist during his or her next dental appointment.

Bottom Line

Teeth grinding in sleep: Bruxism seemingly doesn’t cause any problems, but if the problem continues it can cause severe damage. You can witness the effects such as loose teeth, cracked or damaged teeth, sore jaw, and headaches. Whether it is a daytime problem or nighttime issue, consult your dentist at Gnathos Dental Clinic and discuss different treatment options. Your dentist may prescribe medicines, recommend the use of a mouth guard, and suggest exercise and other measures to manage the condition.

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