Bruxism

Bruxism is a problem that can cause a lot of damage to teeth. It is a condition where a person clenches or grinds their teeth. It can be caused by stress, anxiety, or another issue, and it can lead to a lot of dental problems.

While most people who grind their teeth don’t realise they’re doing it, it may cause some serious complications.

Here, we’ll discuss some of the problems that bruxism can cause, and we’ll also provide some tips on how to deal with the issue. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of bruxism, consult with our dentists at Burwood Dental Care. We provide treatment plans for bruxism and other dental services that help you improve your oral health.

Besides from interrupting your partner’s sleep, and maybe your own, frequent or severe teeth grinding and clenching can result in a number of dangerous side effects that harm your mouth, teeth, jaw, and general oral health.

Many individuals grind their teeth unconsciously, so if you have one or more of these symptoms, you should consult a dentist.

Jaw pain and soreness

Teeth grinding and clenching put persistent pressure and stress on the jaw joints and surrounding muscles. Frequent grinding can cause jaw discomfort and stiffness, as well as facial pain and earaches.

Tooth decay and worn down teeth

When you grind or clench your teeth, they are exposed to a great deal of force. Your teeth will show indications of wear or damage after extended periods of grinding. They can fracture, loosen, wear down, or even flatten the chewing surfaces. Grinding can also cause tooth decay because it destroys the tooth enamel.

Gum recession

Gum recession is a common complication of bruxism. There is a potential risk of loosening and shifting of the teeth, creating spaces where bacteria can enter and leaving the gums to pull away from the teeth.

Headaches

Grinding can lead to painful migraines and tension headaches as a result of the persistent stress and strain put on the face and jaw muscles because of the grinding action.

Jaw disorders

Bruxism may also cause issues with temporomandibular disorders (TMD). As a result of affecting the structure of the muscles and joints in the jaw, It is possible that TMD will result in significant facial, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as problems chewing, talking, and swallowing.

Types of Bruxism

Bruxism can occur while you are awake or asleep, but the pressure of the grinding action is the same.

Sleep bruxism

This type of bruxism causes you to grind your teeth when sleeping, which can be more harmful than awake bruxism. This is because you are not aware that you are doing it and receiving proper treatment may cause a delay, which may result in more serious complications. Another issue with sleep bruxism is that the person has no idea of how hard they are clenching their jaw and teeth. They have the ability to use up to 250 pounds of force, resulting in jaw pain, headaches, and dental problems.

Awake bruxism

This condition is when you clench your jaw and grind your teeth during daylight. It is frequently associated with emotional problems. Teeth grinding may occur when the person is feeling anxious, stressed, or irritated, and concentration may be beneficial. Since you are aware, there is a high chance that you’re more likely to detect and prevent bruxism, and treatment may not be necessary. Although stress management can help.

Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism

You might not know that you grind your teeth while you sleep. If you suspect that you are experiencing bruxism, you should pay attention to the following common signs:

  • Tight jaw muscles or the jaw locking, popping, or clicking with sound.
  • Tooth wear and tear.
  • Enamel erosion exposes the deeper layers of the teeth.
  • A headache in the morning or discomfort in the face.
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Ear pain
  • Fractures in your teeth
  • Eating or chewing difficulties due to tooth and jaw pain.
  • Sleep was disrupted due to loud clenching.
  • Tooth pain
  • TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) disorder.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity.
  • Loosened, chipped teeth, and flattening of the chewing surfaces.

Possible Common Causes of Bruxism

There are different reasons that can lead to bruxism, and it may be a combination of medical conditions, habits, or side effects of certain medications and emotional issues.

Lifestyle

Grinding of teeth can also be caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, abusing drugs, and consuming too much caffeine beverages. These habits have an adverse influence on your brain and cardiovascular functions.

Sleep disorders

Many cases of sleep bruxism are caused by brain activity during sleep, including dreaming and sleep disturbances. Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders that can result in bruxism while sleeping.

Emotional issues

Anxiety, tension, rage, and frustration are all instances of emotional stress that can lead to both sleep and awake bruxism. For instance, some people grind and clench their teeth when trying to concentrate.

Family history

If you or someone in your family has a history of teeth grinding or jaw clenching, you are more likely to develop the condition as well.

Certain medications

There are also medications that can cause bruxism. Among them are serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are used as prescribed medicine for anxiety disorders and other psychological conditions. In addition, other antidepressants, including paroxetine and fluoxetine, may cause teeth grinding.

How is Bruxism diagnosed?

During regular dental checkups, your dentist will check your teeth for any signs of bruxism, such as flattened tooth tips and exposed dentin layers. If signs and symptoms are present, your dentist will closely monitor the condition over the next several visits before beginning treatment.

Treatment Options for Bruxism

The dental team at Burwood Dental Care will identify which treatment plan is suitable for you depending on your age, overall health or medical history, dental health, and preferences. In most situations, bruxism can be successfully treated, and the available treatments may include:

Mouth guards

The dentist may suggest you wear a mouth splint or custom mouth guard while sleeping to protect your teeth from damage. These devices can help by distributing pressure evenly across the jaw, creating a physical barrier between the teeth, and reducing the noise caused by teeth grinding.

Bruxism mouth guards are often made of flexible rubber or plastic. A dentist can design one that is tailored for you, or you can purchase an over-the-counter (OTC) alternative. However, mouth guards available in stores may be less comfortable to wear.

Dental braces

When teeth grinding is caused by a mallocclusion (crooked teeth or poor bite), braces can be a time-tested solution. Braces gradually correct misaligned teeth by applying pressure to the teeth that allows them to move into the right positions.

Stress management

If tress is the cause of your teeth grinding, you may find relief by reducing your stress levels. It is difficult to be stress-free. However, you can control your negative reaction in stressful situation.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback uses an electrical sensor to monitor the amount of muscle activity in the mouth and jaw. It then signals when there is excessive muscle movement, so you may take corrective action. This is very useful for bruxism during the day.

Final Thoughts

Bruxism is a condition in which people clench and grind their teeth when they are awake or asleep. Non-severe bruxism may not require treatment, but some cases can lead to dental problems and serious complications if left untreated. Bruxism may affect your teeth and jaw muscles, which can compromise your oral health.

Fortunately, our team at Burwood Dental Care are happy to help provide non-invasive treatments such as night guards or other appliances if they’re needed, so please contact us today on 03 7034 0333 for more information about how we can help with bruxism treatment.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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As advised by Victoria's Chief Health Officer and Premier Daniel Andrews, it is expected that from 11.59 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021, the current COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted for Greater Melbourne.

Lockdown restrictions have now been lifted across Victoria. The Authorised Worker list no longer applies which means that dental practices can return to pre-lockdown settings with no restrictions on patient access to care.

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