If you’ve ever woken up with jaw pain or a tight feeling in your teeth, you may be suffering from bruxism.
This condition, also known as teeth grinding or clenching, is more common than you imagine and can have a negative impact on your oral and overall health.
What causes bruxism? What are the symptoms and when should you seek treatment? This article will give you all the answers you need including the prevention of this dental disease.
Teeth clenching can be caused by stress, anxiety, dental alignment problems, and in some cases, underlying medical conditions. Symptoms may include facial muscle pain, headache, excessive tooth wear, and neck and shoulder pain.
It is important to seek treatment for teeth clenching as it can damage your teeth and lead to long-term complications such as chronic jaw pain and sleep disorders.
From relaxation therapies to the use of dental splints and botox 1, there are a variety of treatments available to relieve excessive teeth clenching.
Consult your dentist to obtain an accurate diagnosis and explore the treatment options that best suit your needs. To treat bruxism in Quito, Ecuador, you have us at the Asiri Dental Care Center
Table of Content
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition in which you clench or grind your teeth involuntarily, usually during sleep. It can manifest itself as an isolated problem or be chronic, causing damage to both your teeth and your overall health.
This parafunctional habit affects between 8% and 31.5% of the world’s population.2
Most common causes of Bruxism
Bruxism can be caused by a variety of factors, with stress and anxiety being the most common triggers. Other factors may include dental alignment problems, such as an incorrect bite, as well as underlying medical conditions, such as sleep apnea syndrome.
Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism
Teeth grinding can present itself in different ways, and symptoms can vary from person to person. Some common signs include facial muscle pain, frequent headaches, excessive tooth wear, neck pain, and shoulder pain.
Likewise, teeth grinding can be heard, mainly when sleeping.
- Tongue marked on the edges
- Dislocation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) block
- Injuries to the inside of the cheeks
Types of Bruxism
We can categorize teeth grinding in two ways:
Depending on the moment
- Sleep bruxism: if it occurs while sleeping
- Daytime or awawe bruxism: if it occurs while we are awake
Depending on the Type of Movement Performed
- Clenching: leave the bite closed by exerting constant force
- Grinding: leave the bite closed and make horizontal movements
- Tapping: continuous movements of opening the bite a little and closing it generating vertical blows (like shivering)
Complications of Untreated Bruxism
Untreated bruxism can have serious long-term consequences. Excessive tooth wear can cause dental fractures, loss of enamel and tooth sensitivity, as well as a generalized decrease in the size of all teeth and therefore the entire vertical width (dimension) of your smile.
In addition, chronic bruxism can trigger temporomandibular joint disorders3 and sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea.
How is Bruxism diagnosed?
If you experience teeth grinding, it is important to seek the opinion of a dental health professional.
Your dentist will be able to perform an examination and evaluate your medical history to determine if you suffer from teeth grinding or clenching. They may also recommend additional tests, such as dental x-rays, to evaluate the damage to your teeth.
The main sign of bruxism is undoubtedly dental attrition, which is the wear of the occlusal or incisal surfaces of the teeth and the consequent loss of vertical dimension that gives way to a deep bite.
There are also other signs such as gum recession and dental abfraction, which is the loss of parts of the cervical structure of the tooth due to impact forces that are in the form of slits.
Bruxism Risk Factors
- Age, in fact, is very common in children
- Family history
- Hyperactive personality
- Some medicines, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine
- Some diseases
Treatment Options for Bruxism
Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for bruxism. The choice of treatment will depend on the severity of your condition and the underlying causes.
Some common options include relaxation therapies, the use of muscle-relaxing dental mouthguards, correcting dental alignment problems, and reducing the strength of the chewing muscles with the application of Botox.
Home Remedies to Relieve Bruxism
In addition to seeking professional treatment, there are steps you can take at home to relieve the symptoms of bruxism. These include practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, avoiding foods and drinks that contain caffeine, and applying hot or cold compresses to facial muscles to reduce tension.
Lifestyle Changes to Control Bruxism
Lifestyle also plays an important role in controlling bruxism. Avoiding alcohol and tobacco use, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and reducing stress through activities such as regular exercise and self-care can help prevent or reduce episodes of bruxism.
If you suffer from bruxism, it is important to take preventative measures to avoid further damage to your teeth and overall health. This includes avoiding biting on hard objects, such as pencils or pens, and wearing mouth guards during activities that may increase stress on facial muscles, such as sports.
Bruxism is a condition that can have a significant impact on your oral and general health. If you are experiencing symptoms of bruxism, it is important to seek the help of a dental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Don’t ignore the symptoms and take steps to protect your teeth and general well-being.
Remember, teeth grinding can be treated and controlled. You don’t have to live with pain and discomfort. Seek help today and regain your healthy smile.
- Kumar, A., Spivakovsky, S. Bruxism- is botulinum toxin an effective treatment?. Evid Based Dent 19, 59 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ebd.6401311 ↩︎
- Manfredini D, Winocur E, Guarda-Nardini L, Paesani D, Lobbezoo F. Epidemiology of bruxism in adults: a systematic review of the literature. J Orofac Pain. 2013 Spring;27(2):99-110. doi: 10.11607/jop.921. PMID: 23630682. ↩︎
- Mortazavi, N., Tabatabaei, A.H., Mohammadi, M. et al. Is bruxism associated with temporomandibular joint disorders? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Dent 24, 144 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41432-023-00911-6 ↩︎
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