Bruxism is defined as a condition that involves clenching, gnashing, or grinding the teeth. Patients may clench their teeth throughout the day, or grinding or clenching may occur at night, which is referred to as sleep bruxism.
While mild bruxism may not require any treatment, frequent and severe bruxism has the potential to result in damaged teeth, headaches, jaw problems, and other issues.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Some of the most common symptoms of bruxism include:
- Chipped, fractured, loose, or flattened teeth
- Dull headache that comes from the temples
- Tongue indentations
- Clenching or grinding of the teeth loud enough to awaken a sleeping partner
- Increase in tooth sensitivity
- Tight or tired jaw muscles
- Tooth enamel that is worn
- Damage to the inside of the cheek from chewing
- Pain in the ear area that feels much like an earache
What Causes Bruxism?
Unfortunately, dentists and doctors don’t fully understand what causes this condition. Some of the potential psychological and physical causes of bruxism include:
- Acid reflux disease
- Stress, tension, anxiety, tension, anger, and other similar emotions
- Other sleep issues, including sleep apnea
- Complication of other disorders, such as Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease
- Response to the pain of teething or an earache in kids
- Abnormal alignments of the teeth
- Hyperactive or aggressive personalities
- Focusing habit or coping strategy
Potential Bruxism Complications
Usually, bruxism doesn’t result in any serious complications. However, individuals who have severe bruxism could deal with complications, such as facial pain, damage to the jaw, teeth, or tooth restorations, and tension headaches. In some cases, bruxism may even result in disorders of the temporomandibular joints.
Bruxism Treatment Options
For many individuals, treatment for bruxism may not be needed. However, in severe cases, dental approaches may be taken to prevent complications. A dentist may create mouth guards or splints to separate the teeth, preventing the damage that comes with grinding and clenching the teeth. Correcting any problems with misaligned teeth may help to alleviate problems with bruxism if it is related to current dental problems. Other therapies known to help relieve bruxism include biofeedback, behavior therapy, and stress management.
When Should You See a Dentist?
It’s a good idea to head to your dentist if you notice that your teeth have become sensitive, damaged or worn. If other people are complaining that you’re making a clenching or grinding noise while sleeping, it’s also a good idea to see the dentist. Pain in the ear, jaw, or face, as well as a locked jaw, are good signs as well that you need to head to the dentist.
Do you think you may be suffering from bruxism? Contact endodontist in Houston today for more information.