Bruxism is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth. If you grind or clench your teeth when awake, the condition is known as awake bruxism. On the contrary, if you grind or clench your teeth while sleeping, the condition is known as sleep bruxism.
Sleep bruxism is regarded as a sleep-related problem. People who grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to experience sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing.
Mild bruxism may not require immediate treatment; however, it can lead to headaches, jaw disorders, damaged teeth, and other health complications if the condition gets intense or worse.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Teeth grinding is mainly caused by stress and anxiety. The condition often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. Teeth grinding can also occur because of a sleep disorder such s sleep apnea. Night teeth guard can help in dealing with sleep bruxism.
Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
The following are some of the signs and symptoms which indicate that you have bruxism.
- Teeth grinding and clenching are loud enough to wake up your sleeping partner.
- Teeth get flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose
- Intense tooth pain or sensitivity
- Worn tooth enamel
- Tight haw muscles or a locked jaw that neither opens nor closes completely
- Dull headaches
- Sleep disruption
How do You get to Know If You Grind Your Teeth?
As teeth grinding mostly occurs during sleep, most of us are unaware that we grind our teeth. The most apparent signs of teeth grinding are; constant headaches, sore jaw, and experiencing intense pain in the teeth when you wake up.
Most of the time, people come to know about teeth grinding by their loved ones who sleep nearby. Your partners hear clenching and grinding sounds and report them to you when you wake up.
If you suspect that you may be grinding your teeth, you need to talk to a dentist. A professional dentist will examine your mouth and jaw and look for signs of bruxism. Some of the obvious symptoms of bruxism are; jaw tenderness and excessive wear on your teeth.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
There can be various reasons for teeth grinding. Let’s enlist a few of them.
- Stress and anxiety are amongst the most common causes of teeth grinding
- Sleep problems such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and sleep paralysis also lead to teeth grinding
- Several medications, such as antidepressants, also trigger teeth clenching
- Smoking, drinking caffeine, and taking drugs are also among the major causes of teeth grinding
The treatment is based on several factors such as:
- How old you are
- Your medical history
- How good you are at handling specific medicines, procedures, and therapies
- Your opinions or preferences
The following are some of the best treatments for bruxism.
· Wearing A Nightguard
A night guard is a dental device that cushions your teeth and prevents teeth from grinding and clenching. You can wear a plastic mouthguard, which helps absorb the force of biting. In addition to that, a nightguard also prevents future damage to the teeth and aids in changing behavior. SportingSmiles night guards are perfect for treating sleep bruxism.
· Behavioral Changes
Making certain behavioral changes can help in reducing the impact of teeth grinding. The dentist may ask you to rest your tongue, teeth, and lips properly. In addition to that, you will also have to learn how to rest the tongue upward to relieve discomfort on the jaw and keep the teeth apart and lips closed.
This treatment method involves an electronic instrument that measures the amount of muscle activity of the mouth and jaw. This device then signals you when there is too much muscle activity so that you can change that behavior. This treatment is particularly helpful for dealing with daytime bruxism.
You can use several medications for treating bruxism. These medications help regulate neurotransmitters. Changing medicines may be needed if antidepressant medicines are found to cause bruxism.