What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options

What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options

Dec 06, 2022

What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

The condition of bruxism causes you to grind and clench your teeth subconsciously if you are awake or indulge in similar practices when sleeping. Medical professionals think sleep bruxism is a sleep-related disorder that causes people to gnash their teeth. However, if you have sleep bruxism, chances are high that you may have other sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea.

Mild cases of sleep or awake bruxism do not require treatment; in many cases, the problem subsides by itself. However, if you develop severe bruxism, you might experience jaw disorders, headaches, tooth damage, and other issues.

You might not become aware of sleep bruxism until complications develop in your mouth or general health. Therefore you must make efforts to understand the signs and symptoms of this condition and seek regular dental care from your dentist.

What Causes Bruxism?

The medical fraternity doesn’t entirely comprehend the precise reasons for bruxism. However, they think it might be a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors. Here are the causes of bruxism (teeth grinding):

  • Awake bruxism might result from emotions like anxiety, stress, frustration, and anger, or it might develop as a habit during deep concentration.
  • Sleep bruxism might result from a sleep-related chewing activity linked with arousal when sleeping.
  • While mild bruxism doesn’t cause serious complications, you might experience advanced problems if you have severe bruxism. It can result in damage to your teeth, restorations, and jaw, tension-type headaches, disorders of the temporomandibular joint making clicking sounds when opening and closing your mouth, and severe facial and jaw pain.
  • If you are stringent with your dental hygiene practices and schedule regular exams with our dentist in 75093, the dentist detects signs of bruxism by examining your teeth.
  • Unfortunately, children also get affected by bruxism, and if you notice them clenching and grinding their teeth, discuss the problem with their pediatric dentist for a remedy.

The Symptoms of Bruxism

There are several symptoms of bruxism, some of which include:

  • Teeth grinding and clenching loudly to wake up your bed partner, flattened, chipped, or loose teeth, enamel erosion exposing the dentin layer of your teeth, and aggravating tooth pain and sensitivity.
  • Besides the above might also experience tight or tired jaw muscles or have a locked jaw making it challenging for you to open and close your mouth, face, neck, and jaw soreness, pain similar to earaches without having any problems in the ear, dull headaches starting from the temples, sleep disruption, etc.
  • If you experience these symptoms, it indicates you must seek teeth-grinding treatment near you as soon as possible.

Treatment Modalities for Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Treatment for bruxism isn’t always necessary because many children outgrow the problem without treatment. Adults with mild bruxism also do not require treatment. However, severe bruxism treatment options include some dental approaches, medications, and therapies to prevent additional tooth damage and relieve pain or discomfort.

You can discuss with your dentist the best approach for the condition affecting you. For example, your dentist might suggest techniques to preserve or improve the condition of your teeth, making it clear that while the methods might prevent wear and tear, they might not help overcome bruxism.

The therapies dentists suggest include the following:

1) Mouthguards or Splints:

These appliances are created to keep your teeth separated when sleeping to prevent damage from grinding and clenching. Dentists make the devices using hard or soft materials to fit over your upper and lower teeth.

2) Dental Correction

If you have severe bruxism, the condition leads to sensitivity hindering your ability to chew correctly. In such cases, your dentist reshapes your teeth chewing surfaces or suggests dental crowns to restore the damage.

Besides dental approaches, dentists might also use other techniques to help relieve bruxism. For example, they might suggest the following to help you manage the issue.

  • Anxiety or Stress Management: If the cause of bruxism is stress, you can prevent the problem by learning techniques that help promote relaxation, but it might require help from a licensed therapist or counselor.
  • Behavioral Changes: after you learn you have bruxism, you can ask your dentist to teach you behavioral changes for the best position for your mouth and jaw.
  • Biofeedback: if you find it challenging to change your habits, you can find help from the biofeedback technique that uses monitoring and equipment to help you control muscle activities in your jaw.

Dentists might also suggest medications, although they aren’t practical for teeth grinding and clenching, and the evidence of their effectiveness is insufficient to determine their veracity. You might receive suggestions for muscle relaxants, Botox injections, and anxiety and stress medications.

Get Teeth Grinding Treatment Near You

If you are diagnosed having bruxism, it helps if you seek bruxism treatment before the condition severely damages your teeth and disrupts your quality of life. Unfortunately, this condition can also make you vulnerable to receiving expensive dental treatments to restore damaged teeth.

We at SS Dental provide bruxism treatment in Plano, TX for teeth grinding and clenching, damaging teeth, and disrupting your quality of life. If you experience these symptoms or you are getting identified with the signs of this condition during routine exams, request an appointment and get treatment from us to prevent the problem from aggravating.