Bruxism is a term used to describe the grinding of teeth, usually at night during sleep. It can be caused by teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw. Bruxism can lead to a number of problems, including severe headaches and jaw pain. Some patients may wake with tooth pain from nighttime grinding. In rare cases, nighttime grinding can even lead to fractured teeth.
Bruxism is a common condition that affects adults all over the world. Bruxism can manifest in a person’s jaw muscles as clenching or grinding of the teeth. This can occur while a person is sleeping and without their knowledge.
Bruxism can occur under a variety of different circumstances. The most common cause is stress or anxiety. During sleep, your jaw muscles are more relaxed. This relaxation can lead to involuntary grinding or gnashing of your teeth. Other causes of bruxism include:
There are only a few initial symptoms of bruxism, and they are hard to detect. The first stage of bruxism is the grinding of the teeth, followed by clenching the teeth and leading to jaw soreness. Teeth grinding at night can also cause you to wake up with headaches or sore jaw muscles. You may also notice that your teeth are feeling more sensitive than before or that your teeth are flattening or getting chipped and worn down. The other symptoms include
If left untreated, bruxism can lead to multiple dental issues, such as tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, and damage to your teeth. The initial stages of bruxism can be addressed by asking the patient to make some lifestyle changes. This includes following relaxation techniques to alleviate stress and having a good sleep. You may also be prescribed a muscle relaxer or antidepressant to help reduce your bruxism symptoms.
If the condition is in its advanced stages, certain mouth devices may be needed.
A night guard is a type of mouth guard that you wear at night. Night guards protect your teeth from grinding and clenching as you sleep. It can help prevent worn teeth and damage to your teeth.
Botox is a popular treatment for bruxism because it works to relax the jaw muscles that clench and grind. The effects of Botox are temporary, and you’ll need regular injections to maintain a healthy, symptom-free smile.
Aside from wearing a nightguard, your dentist may recommend the following treatment options.
Most treatment plans are tailored to each individual patient, so your dentist may suggest these or other treatment options based on your personal needs.
Book an appointment with Dr. An in San Francisco, CA, and we shall assist you more with bruxism and its treatment!
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