Bruxism (BRUK-siz-um) is the medical term for grinding teeth and clenching. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously be grinding and clenching your teeth together during the day or at night (sleep bruxism). Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea). 

Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems. Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it's important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.

Bruxism Symptoms:

  • Grinding and clenching teeth, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw or face pain or soreness
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it's actually not a problem with your ear
  • Dull headache originating in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Indentations on your tongue

Causes:

  • Emotions, such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension
  • Aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type
  • Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion)
  • Other sleep problems, such as sleep apnea
  • Response to pain from an earache or teething (in children)
  • Stomach acid reflux into the esophagus
  • An uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, such as phenothiazines or certain antidepressants
  • A coping strategy or focusing habit
  • Complication resulting from a disorder such as Huntington's disease or Parkinson's disease

Health Risks

  • Damage to your teeth, restorations, crowns or jaw
  • Tension-type headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Disorders that occur in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), located just in front of your ears, which may sound like clicking when you open and close your mouth

Treatment

At Miyasaki Dental we have several bruxism treatments ranging from mouth guards, medications, and TMJ analysis. 

Bruxism Video

 

As your dedicated Sacramento general dentists, give us a call today or request an appointment to discuss bruxism and treatments. We are dedicated to your lifetime of dental health.

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