What Is Bruxism and How to Deal with the Condition?

What Is Bruxism and How to Deal with the Condition?

May 01, 2020

Bruxism is a problem whereby you may clench your teeth, grind or gnash them. You could be unconsciously clenching your teeth if you have bruxism when you are awake in a condition known as awake bruxism. You may even clench and grind them when you are sleeping which is known as sleep bruxism.

Sleep bruxism is considered as a disorder of sleep-related movement and people who clench or grind their teeth when sleeping usually suffer from other sleep disorders like snoring and pauses when breathing (sleep apnea).

Treatment may not be required if you are suffering from mild bruxism but some people may have severe conditions that can lead to jaw disorders, damaged teeth, headaches, and other problems.

You may be having sleep bruxism but may not be aware of it until complications develop and therefore it is important for you to know the signs and symptoms of this condition and to obtain regular dental care from the dentist in Houston, TX.

The Symptoms of Bruxism

Bruxism has different types of symptoms some of which are mentioned below for your reference:

  • Teeth grinding and clenching loudly even to wake up your sleep partner.
  • Flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth.
  • Exposure of deeper layers of the tooth because of worn tooth enamel.
  • Increased sensitivity and tooth pain.
  • Pain in the face, neck, or face accompanied by soreness.
  • Damage from eating on the interior of your cheek.
  • Sleep disruptions and many others.

When to Visit a Doctor or Dentist?

Visit the doctor or dentist in Hedwig Village if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or are concerned about your teeth and jaw. If you observe your child grinding his or her teeth or showing off any other symptoms of bruxism bring it to the notice of the pediatric dentist during the next dental appointment.

What Are the Causes of This Condition?

The medical fraternity does not completely understand the causes of bruxism but believes it could be due to a combination of psychological, physical, and genetic factors.

  • Emotions such as anxiety, anger, stress, frustration, or tension can cause awake bruxism. It could also be a coping strategy or habit during sleep concentration.
  • Sleep bruxism could be caused by sleep-related chewing activity with arousals when sleeping.

Risk Factors Associated with Bruxism

  • Stress or anxiety often leads to teeth grinding just like anger and frustration.
  • It is a common condition among children but subsides by adulthood.
  • Having an aggressive personality, hyperactive or competitive can increase your risks of bruxism.
  • Psychiatric medications can also cause bruxism along with habits like smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages or using recreational drugs.
  • Sleep bruxism is hereditary and can occur in families along with medical disorders like Parkinson’s, dementia, reflux disorder, epilepsy, sleep-related disorders, and ADHD.

The Complications Bruxism Can Cause

Mild bruxism does not cause any major complications but the severe variety can lead to:

  • Damage to your teeth, jaw, restorations or crowns.
  • Severe facial and jaw pain.
  • Disorders with the temporomandibular joints located in front of the ears making clicking sounds when opening up closing the mouth.
  • Headaches.

Evaluation of Bruxism

Your dentist will be looking for signs of bruxism during regular dental appointments. If your dentist suspects you have bruxism in Houston, TX, he or she will try to determine its cause by questioning you about your general dental health, daily routines, sleeping habits, and medications. If you are displaying the signs of bruxism the dentist will be looking for changes in your teeth and mouth over the next few appointments to understand if the condition is progressive and to determine whether you need treatment. If your bruxism is related to a sleep disorder the dentist may refer you to a sleep medicine specialist to conduct more tests to assess your episodes of teeth grinding and determine whether you have sleep apnea.

The Treatment for Bruxism

Treatment for bruxism in many cases is not necessary because children will outgrow the problem without treatment and adults do not grind or clench their teeth badly to require treatment. However, if you are suffering from a severe problem Lynn Alan Palmer DDS may recommend splints or mouth guards that are designed to separate your teeth and keep them from causing damages by clenching or grinding. The mouthguard will be custom developed and will fit over your upper or lower teeth.

Dental corrections may also be suggested in severe cases where the condition can lead to teeth sensitivity and inability to chew properly. In such cases, the dentist in Houston, TX, will reshape the chewing surfaces of the teeth or use crowns to repair the damage.

Lifestyle changes and home remedies can also help to treat bruxism. You can avoid stress, stimulating substances, and schedule regular dental exams to identify the problem of bruxism because the dentist is the best professional to spot the signs of this problem in your mouth and jaw during regular dental exams and checkups.

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