Everything you need to know about bruxism


Posted on 3/21/2022 by Dr. Saklofsky
Everything you need to know about bruxismBruxism is a dental condition that refers to the teeth' gnashing, grinding, and clenching using the jaw muscles forcefully. It could involve all or some teeth and occur during sleep or when conscious. It is a tension disorder resulting in headaches and a disrupted sleep pattern. It also causes sleep apnea and snoring. This condition could lead to difficulty breathing, especially when asleep, causing inadequate oxygenation to parts of the brain and the general body.

Symptoms of bruxism


Often, patients are not away from the teeth grinding until it is noticeable through deteriorating oral health. Patients experience hypersensitivity to cold or hot drinks. The continued grinding and gnashing of teeth wear off the enamel exposing the dentin, which becomes painful when hot or cold drinks and foods pass to the nerves. Bruxism also causes neck, facial, and jaw muscle pain.

The forceful pressure on the jawbone may also make one feel excruciating pain in the ears and a locked jaw that does not open or close effectively. The fake chewing motion also results in the cheeks wearing off, causing sores that might harbor bacteria. Headaches are also associated with bruxism, incredibly dull early morning headaches.

Causes of bruxism


Medical practitioners and researchers may not have an exact cause of the condition. However, research has it that it is a combination of psychological, physical, and genetic factors. Awake bruxism is caused by stress, frustration, anxiety, tension, and anger. On the other hand, sleep bruxism is said to be caused by arousals such as chewing activities during sleep.

Other causes include neurological disorders, for example, Huntington's disease, specific medication prescriptions and withdrawals, crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, and other medical conditions. Progression of this condition gives way for other complicated conditions such as TMJ disorder and severe oral damage that might need more invasive procedures to treat.
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