A Closer Look At Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)


Bruxism is the medical condition for describing grinding or gnashing of the teeth and jaw clenching. A person who have bruxism is known as a bruxer. Bruxism often occur during sleep and a bruxer may not be of aware it except being told by those who sleep around him.

Occasionally, people may grind and clench their teeth. The periodical occurrence does not usually cause harm but if regular can damage the teeth and could lead to other oral health complications such as receding gums and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Bruxism (teeth grinding)
Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bruxism can affect both children and adults but more prominent in adults between the ages of 25 and 44.

What really causes teeth grinding?

Bruxism can happen at any time, day or night. Stress and anxiety is a common cause of teeth grinding. Sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea can also cause bruxism.

Anger, frustration and depression can cause some people to start teeth grinding without becoming aware of it. Other contributing factors to bruxism are smoking, regular alcohol consumption and use of recreational drugs. Taking certain medications such as antidepressants can aggravate bruxism. 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of bruxism may include:
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Insomnia (sleep disruption)
  • Earache
  • Painful jaw
  • Muscle tenderness

Prevention

There are recommendations a bruxer can adhere to in order to prevent teeth grinding.
  • Learn to reduce stress
  • Learn to manage anxiety
  • Learn relaxation techniques.
All these are necessary because persistent teeth grinding can wear down the teeth.

When to seek medical attention

If you suspect to be a bruxer and you are having similar symptoms , you should see your doctor:
  • If you discovered that your teeth is damaged, sensitive or worn.
  • If people who sleep with you complain and find it difficult to sleep as a result of the grind sound you make during sleep.
  • If you have severe pain in the ear, face or jaw when you wake up in the morning.

Treatment

Use of mouth guards and mouth splints are one among other treatment options for teeth grinding. Mouth guards and mouth splints act by reducing the sensation from grinding or clenching of the teeth. They also prevent wear from happening to the teeth. The mouth guard and mouth splints is the best treatment option for bruxism that occur during the sleep.

Lifestyle changes such as dietary adjustment can help to reduce teeth grinding. Some of these adjustments are:
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Reduce consumption of food and drinks that contain caffeine.
  • Do not chew anything that is not food.
  • Avoid chewing gum, it embeds grind and clenching into your muscle memory.

Bruxism can also be treated by behavioural therapies such as habit-reversal techniques.

25 comments:

  1. Good one, you have delt with this article very well , never knew the name of this condition before now, I still want to know if it is ideal to occur once a while and just one grind in months.

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  2. A really interesting post! My daughter sometimes grinds her teeth in her sleep, absolutely drives me mad - seems to occur less now she is getting older. Sim x

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  3. This is a very informative post about Bruxism. I've not experienced it nor do I know anyone who has, but I think it's something that should be dealt immediately especially if all the symptoms are there. I'm surprised that stress and anxiety can cause Bruxism.

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  4. Very informative on bruxism teeth grinding.. Thanks a lot for sharing it!

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  5. I have teeth grinding problem too! And it was slightly better when I had braces on... Now that I have to put on retainers all the time, My teeth was somehow protected and guarded... but my retainers were worn out!

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  6. Thanks bro this teeth grinding got my frnd worried thanks again and nice article

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  7. I got really interested because my 9 year old grinds his teeth from time to time. And he gets anxious about his brothers a lot when we're out, worried that they might get lost when they wander too far. Maybe I should get more into this. Thanks for the info.

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  8. Bruxism a serious phenomena in some young people, and should not be allowed to stay. Thanks for this write up mazino. Is there any herbal remedy to cure dis.

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  9. A very informative post and I learned much. Though no one in my family shows sign of Bruxism, nevertheless precaution is better than cure.

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  10. Lifestyle changes can make a dramatic difference in this condition!

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  11. If there was something i learned from this post, it was 'a new medical word' - bruxism-

    Never knew the medical name for teeth grinding before ;)

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  12. A friend of mine would grind her teeth before. We got worried about it and encouraged her to seek medical attention. According to her, it was caused by stress, so when she worked to eliminate the stressor, the teeth grinding disappeared.

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  13. I experienced this symptom before when I was a teenage. After seeking medical advises and wear mouth guard for a period of time I recovered.

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  14. I've heard of other people having this issue, and it's a shame when it happens. It's hard to combat because so many people don't even know they're doing it.

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  15. Teeth grinding can be an impulse. It would be important to detect it early and do some treatments.

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  16. Very interesting topic. So, based on the age group you mentioned, people over 40 don't grind their teeth?

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  17. I did not know teeth grinding was a problem. I am going to be careful and watch my nieces and nephews to see if they do it.

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  18. Bruxism is very unpleasant, I had it once and it caused the enamel of my teeth to get thinner, I know it is mainly observed in child age but adults also have it sometimes.

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  19. My 2 nephews (brothers) have teeth grinding problems and it's really bothering. - KarenT

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  20. This is new to me. I didn't know teeth grinding is a problem.. thanks for sharing!

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  21. OMG, I sometimes do that. But only when I go to bed tired. Thanks for this info. Very enlightening.

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  22. Stress is always the cause of many illnesses so I'm not surprised it can cause bruxism. I have a cousin who suffered from it and had to consult a dentist and wear a plastic guard at night until she was able to conquer her bruxism.

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  23. wow! Love your post! Looks interesting. Thanks for the info

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  24. So teeth grinding is a dental problem, didn't know that. It's great to know that there are possible remedies for this.

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  25. i m also facing tooth problem and gone fed up of my yellow teeth.but i went to oc dental specialists they gave me amazing service at better rate.Would love to recommend others too.For more details kindly visit here http://goo.gl/z4uJ0w

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