Bruxism is a condition that affects millions of people across the globe, from Raleigh, North Carolina to Encino, California. It is where one grinds or clenches his/her teeth. A person may grind his/her teeth while awake or asleep. Awake bruxism is when the individual grinds his teeth while being awake and sleep bruxism is when he grinds the teeth during sleep. On the other hand, sleep bruxism is also considered a sleep-related disorder. Such people may suffer from other sleep disorders like sleep apnea or snoring. Bruxism can be mild or severe depending on the signs and symptoms of the condition. In fact, mild bruxism doesn’t require any treatment while severe bruxism can result in jaw disorders, damaged teeth, headaches, and many other issues. This article provides information on what are the signs and symptoms of bruxism.
The condition may have many signs and symptoms such as clenching or grinding the teeth, chipped & loose teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, worn enamel, tight jaw muscles, jaw pain or soreness, dull headaches in the temple area, and sleep disruption. You may see a dentist if you have any of the above signs and symptoms persisting for a longer period. If you notice your child clenching or grinding his/her teeth, you should mention the fact when you see his/her dentist the next time around.
Although the exact cause of bruxism is not identified as yet, doctors believe that there could be a combination of causes such as physical, genetic, and psychological factors. In fact, awake bruxism can happen due to anxiety, depression, stress, frustration, anger, and tension. On the other hand, sleep bruxism may be caused due to sleep-related chewing activities and arousals during sleep. There are many risk factors of the condition such as the person’s age, stress levels, family history, medications, if you’ve had teeth whitening done recently and the personality type of the patient. An individual who has an aggressive or hyperactive type of personality has a higher risk of bruxism compared to other types of personalities.
Your dentist will diagnose the condition during dental check-ups. If there are any signs of the condition, the dentist will monitor your teeth and gums during the next couple of visits. This will help the dentist to decide on appropriate treatments depending on whether the condition is progressive. Your dentist will ask questions about your health and medical conditions to determine the cause of the condition. He or she may also check for tenderness in the jaw muscles, broken teeth, and any other damages to the teeth, jaw or dental implants through a dental x-ray. If you are diagnosed with the condition, the dentist will refer you to a sleep medicine specialist for further evaluation. A sleep medicine specialist will conduct more tests such as a sleep study to determine the severity of the condition.
Treatments for the condition include mouth guards and dental correction procedures. If tooth wear has led to sensitivity in your teeth, your dentist may consider reshaping the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
The above article provides information on what are the signs and symptoms of bruxism.