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Read How Bruxism Can Affect Your Health In the Long Term!

what is bruxism?

What is bruxism? Well, bruxism is when people tend to clench their teeth together or grind them. Grinding teeth means that they rub the teeth back and forth over one another. This condition can happen while the patient is awake or asleep. The former tends to only involve clenching rather than grinding. 

Grinding and clenching your teeth is a common involuntary reaction to fear, anger, or stress. In some patients, this reaction plays out frequently every day, even if they do not respond to an immediate stressor. These movements you are not aware of most of the time are part of a bruxism disorder. 

Dental surgeons across the world, as well as researchers, have tried to find the truth about what causes bruxism, but it remains unclear to this day.

Teeth clenching can also present a potential factor for bruxism as clenching is when an individual places

a certain amount of pressure over each teeth and squeezes their muscles.

These would include the following:

  • Jaw
  • Cheeks
  • Mouth

But remember that clenching does not require the individual to move their jaw in any direction whatsoever.

Causes of bruxism can be presented in the following states of emotion:

  • Concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Stress

Other forms of early symptoms of this condition can be traced to constant activity in the human brain.

What are the Symptoms of Bruxism? 

Symptoms_bruxism

The symptoms of bruxism include grinding noises, particularly of nocturnal bruxism, that happen at night. This may be commented upon by a sleeping roommate or partner because the bruxist (the patient) may not realize that they grind their teeth.  

Other tell-tale signs that you may have bruxism include:

  • headaches in the morning or all-day
  • facial muscle pain, especially the jaw and cheeks
  • aching jaw and limited mouth opening
  • earache
  • tightness and stiffness of the shoulders 

In addition to these symptoms, bruxists may also acquire more long-lasting problems, including cracked and worn teeth. This may be fixed by dental specialists; however, the teeth’ enamel, which may be damaged by bruxism, cannot grow back. 

Other long-term symptoms of bruxism include:

  • tooth sensitivity – the teeth may be sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet foods
  • stiffness and pain of the jaw joint
  • swelling and recession of the gums
  • premature loss of teeth

The Negative Effect of Bruxism on your Body and Overall Health

bruxism consequences

Photo from www.ncprosthodontics.com

As dental specialists everywhere try to understand this condition’s causes, the effects on individuals who suffer from this problem are much more apparent.

The simple act of clenching and grinding your teeth is already bad as it deteriorates your teeth, but what

really occurs during episodes of bruxism?

Teeth debilitate over time, thus causing the following:

  • Fractures
  • Deterioration
  • Blunt teeth

Not only are muscles involved, but facial tissue as well. That, in the end, affects your overall jaw structure.

This can lead to much more apparent results, including:

  • Headaches
  • Sore gums
  • Sensitivity
  • Broken, fractured, or lose teeth
  • Stiffness
  • Overall jaw pain
  • Earache

The worst-case scenario is that the joints located in the person’s jaw will suddenly pop out of place or click abnormally. These joints are also located near the ear canals, which cause earaches.

Bruxism related episodes can occur during the day and night. Still, as many studies have shown, bruxism related to sleep disorders poses a crucial threat because it is much harder to control or even treat.

As many may know, bruxism is closely related to the most common sleep patterns and disorders many Americans may experience during sleep, which go hand in hand with the following condition:

  •  Sleep apnea (abnormal sleep oriented patterns that occur while breathing during sleeping sessions.)
  • Insomnia (the individual may have difficulty sleeping or when trying to fall asleep. In most cases, the person may struggle through unordinary patterns of waking up and sleep.)
  • RLS (restless legs syndrome is a sleeping disorder involving movement.)

What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?

 

A dentist in Tijuana can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth. But first, we need to make a proper diagnosis, so we invite you to book an appointment with us and start a treatment plan to protect your teeth from grinding during your sleep. Stress and different situations can trigger it, but we can help you find a solution by exploring options to reduce stress or other alternatives. Call us today. 

Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.

If stress causes you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.

If a sleeping disorder is causing the grinding, treating it may reduce or eliminate the grinding habit.

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