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

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

Apr 07, 2023

What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Bruxism is a condition characterized by unconscious tooth grinding or clenching. It can happen at any time during the day or night and can significantly impact a person’s oral health and overall life. If you have teeth grinding, you may clench your teeth while awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them while sleeping (sleep bruxism).

A sleep-related movement disorder is sleep bruxism. People who grind or clench their teeth (brux) while sleeping are more likely to suffer from other sleep disorders, such as snoring and breathing pauses (sleep apnea).

What are the Causes of Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Bruxism is a complex condition with numerous causes, including:

  • Stress, anxiety, and depression are frequently associated with bruxism. People may grind their teeth as a coping mechanism for these emotions.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing while sleeping, and other sleep disorders can cause bruxism.
  • Substance abuse: Alcohol, caffeine, and recreational drugs can stimulate the central nervous system, making teeth grinding more likely.
  • Medical conditions: Bruxism has been linked to neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and epilepsy. As a side effect of their medication, people with these conditions may grind their teeth.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances have been linked to bruxism, particularly in women during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
  • According to some research, Bruxism may have a genetic component and may run in families.
  • Malocclusion (bad bite): A misaligned bite can cause additional stress on the jaw, leading to grinding or clenching.

It should be noted that many people who grind their teeth have more than one of these causes, and in some cases, the exact cause of bruxism is unknown.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Bruxism can be difficult to detect because it often occurs while a person is sleeping, and they are unaware of it. There are, however, several signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of bruxism, and thus seeking bruxism treatment. They include:

  • Teeth Grinding or Clenching Noises: If a bed partner hears the sound of grinding or clenching during the night, bruxism may be present
  • Tooth Sensitivity: Bruxism can wear down the enamel on the teeth, making them sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Worn or Damaged Teeth: Bruxism can cause teeth to become worn or damaged over time, which can be seen by our dentist at 77024.
  • Pain or Discomfort in the Jaw, Face, or Neck: Bruxism can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, and neck, especially when you first wake up in the morning.
  • Headaches: Bruxism can cause frequent headaches, particularly in the morning.
  • Dizziness or Earaches: Dizziness or earaches can be caused by bruxism.
  • Difficulty Sleeping: People with sleep bruxism may have trouble falling or staying asleep and may wake up tired and unrested.

What are the Treatment Options for Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Treating bruxism can include a combination of lifestyle changes, behavioral modifications, and medical or dental interventions. Treatment options may differ depending on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. Among the most common bruxism treatments are:

  • Stress Reduction: Our dentist in Houston, TX recommends relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help prevent bruxism.
  • Avoid Caffeine & Practice Good Sleep: Avoiding triggers like caffeine and alcohol and practicing good sleep hygiene can help reduce the likelihood of bruxism.
  • Wear Night Guard: A night guard or splint is a custom-made device that is worn over the teeth at night to prevent grinding.
  • Medication: In some cases, medication, such as muscle relaxants or anti-anxiety medications, may be prescribed to treat bruxism symptoms.
  • Treatment with Dental or Orthodontic Appliances: In severe cases, dental or orthodontic appliances may be required to realign the bite and prevent further tooth damage. This could include braces, retainers, or other dental devices.
  • Botox Injections: Botox injections are used to relax the jaw muscles and alleviate bruxism symptoms in some cases.

Get Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) Treatment Near You

Teeth grinding occurs when you clench and grind your teeth. It can happen while you are awake or asleep. Sleep bruxism can be more problematic because you are unaware you are doing it. Teeth grinding, if left untreated, can cause problems with your teeth, jaw joint, and jaw muscles.

If you wake up with headaches or jaw soreness and looking to get bruxism treatment near Hedwig Village, TX, contact us at Lynn Alan Palmer DDS to get bruxism treatment in Houston, TX! We can help you find the best treatment for you, which may include wearing a night guard while sleeping. Stress management can also aid in the reduction of teeth grinding.

2024 Lynn Alan Palmer DDS | Privacy Policy | Web Design, Digital Marketing & SEO By Adit