Causes and Cures of Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Posted by Dr. Lee May 25, 2023
Teeth grinding or Bruxism is a common condition found mostly among young children, aged between 4-12, and often among adults. In this condition, people are found to grind their teeth, mostly in sleep, due to sleep or stress-related disorders. Bruxism can cause severe health complications, if left untreated, including damaging teeth and prolong headaches.
Type of Bruxism can be of two types, i.e.
Sleep Bruxism: A type of sleeping disorder in which people tend to clench their jaw or grind their teeth during their sleep. In most cases, people suffering from sleep bruxism aren’t aware of the condition they are suffering from, but their sleeping partners can easily notice the condition. This is most common between the ages of 4 and 12. Between the ages of 7 and 10, this condition can become severe if not treated.
Awake Bruxism: Awake Bruxism can be seen among all age groups. People grind or clench and their teeth while being awake, however, without realizing it. This is mostly because due to emotional factors like being under a lot of stress, anger, anxiety, frustration, or lost in deep concentration.
- Grinding teeth while sleeping can be heard by people present near or the sleeping partners.
- Grinding or clenching teeth while being angry or any other emotionally stressed moment.
- Tooth pain, worn or loosened tooth enamel, flattened or broken tooth enamel, the sudden rise of tooth sensitivity.
- Headache starting around the temples quite regularly.
- Irregular pain and tiredness in the jaw, sore neck, sore face towards the ears.
- Dizziness or tiredness during the daytime due to the lack of peaceful or comfortable sleep.
- Bruxism is fairly common among children and mostly it goes away as they grow up. But, in some cases, Bruxism can cause serious damage to your teeth depending on the severity of the grinding and clenching you suffered. Teeth can break and crowns can flatten, losing their sharpness.
- Severe Bruxism can cause prolong headaches which can be irritating or dull, happening quite regularly.
- It can cause severe pain in the jaw and regular actions like eating can be really difficult. Kids suffering from this might not eat properly which can lead to further damage to their health.
- The treatment for Bruxism is not something that can be done quickly. To protect the teeth and any further damage, mouth guards and splints can be used while sleeping. These things separate the upper teeth set from the lower which prevents grinding of the teeth, preventing any further damages.
- Awake Bruxism is caused due to emotional distress. To treat the condition, it is important to treat the emotional aspects of the person. Stress and anxiety management is a popular therapy that can be carried out to get the person out of the condition. Anger issues must be treated through therapy to cure the condition and maintain a more calm and stress-free life.
- Medications like muscle relaxants are often prescribed in severe cases to relax the jaws before going to bed. This will relax the jaws and prevent them from clutching and grinding during sleep time.