Bruxism

Bruxism is chronic, involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth. It usually occurs during sleep, but it may also occur while awake.

  • Causes

    The exact cause of bruxism is unknown, but it is believed to be related to:


    • Stress and
      anxiety
    • Abnormal alignment of the teeth or jaws

  • Definition

    Bruxism is chronic, involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth. It usually occurs during sleep, but it may also occur while awake.

    Closed Jaw
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  • Diagnosis

    The doctor or dentist will ask about your symptoms and medical history. An examination of your teeth and jaw will be done. With bruxism, teeth will have flattened tips, excessive wear, thin enamel, or sensitivity. X-rays may be done to check for further damage to your teeth or the underlying bone.

  • Prevention

    The same methods used to treat bruxism can be used to prevent the condition.

    Avoid caffeine drinks in the evening

    Make sure to see your dentist regularly for check-ups

  • Risk Factors

    Risk factors that increase your chance of getting bruxism include:

    • Chronic stress or
      anxiety
    • Aggressive or competitive personality
    • Smoking tobacco or drinking caffeinated beverages

    • Abuse of
      drugs
      or
      alcohol
      (especially methamphetamines)
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Age: 40 or younger; especially common in women aged 27-40
    • Family member with bruxism
    • Facial or oral trauma
    • Use of psychiatric medications, especially antidepressants
    • Prior serious head injury
    • Complication resulting from a disorder, such as Huntington's disease or Parkinson's disease

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Grinding sounds during sleep
    • Teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, or brushing
    • Tense facial or jaw muscles
    • Teeth that are worn down, flattened, fractured or chipped
    • Hairline cracks or wearing of the enamel on some teeth
    • Sore teeth

    • Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
    • Headache, especially when waking in the morning
    • Damage to the inside of the cheek (from biting or chewing)
    • Temporomandibular joint disorder
      (TMD)

  • Treatment

    Methods of treatment include: