Bruxism is grinding your teeth and/or clenching your jaw. It often happens while you are sleeping. Bruxism can happen when you are aware of it while you are sleeping Grinding is when you slide your teeth back and forth over each other. Clenching means you tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together. Bruxism is something that children and adults of any age may do.
Bruxism can happen when you are awake or while you are sleeping. You may even wake yourself up with a loud grating or grinding sound. The sound may even be loud enough that other people can hear it. However, bruxism may also be silent.
Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or crooked. A study in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that teeth grinding is also associated with alcohol and tobacco use. People who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth.
In a September 2020 report, the ADA Health Policy Institute found that more than half of dentists surveyed saw an increase in patients with dental conditions often associated with stress: Teeth grinding and clenching, chipped and cracked teeth, and symptoms of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder such as jaw pain and headaches.
The symptoms of teeth grinding include:
Dr. Z can see if you have bruxism by examining your mouth and teeth for unusual wear spots or any other related symptoms. It’s important to keep regular dental checkups in order to catch damage in the early stages.
Treatment depends on each patient’s situation. Dr. Z can fit you with a custom occlusal guard to protect your teeth during sleep. These “Night Guards” are custom-made from plastic or other materials. Guards slip over your upper or lower teeth and prevent the teeth from touching while you are sleeping. This protects your teeth and helps prevent further wearing down of the teeth. Dr. Z can also repair your teeth from damage caused by bruxism. This treatment may include fillings, bonding, and/or crowns. Contact SS Dental in Plano today to schedule your exam with Dr. Z to determine your best treatment for bruxism near Dallas, Richardson, Carrollton, Addison, Frisco, McKinney, Garland, Rowlett, Allen, and The Colony in Plano, TX.
Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence. Children with bruxism may exhibit other sleep-related issues like snoring.
Although in adults teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask Dr. Z about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions.