Teeth Grinding

Bruxism

Bruxism, or teeth grinding as it is more commonly referred, is an uncontrollable clenching or grinding of the teeth against one another. This is more commonly attributed as a sleep disorder (sleep bruxism), but in certain circumstances occurs when you are awake (awake bruxism). If left untreated, bruxism can lead to Myofascial muscle pains, TMJ Disorder and headaches.

People who suffer from sleep bruxism can also offer suffer from other sleep-related disorders, such as sleep apnoea, this can cause additional issues as it is harder to control.


Symptoms

Signs of bruxism include:

  • Sensitive teeth and increased tooth pain
  • Loose teeth
  • Cracked/chipped tooth enamel
  • Flattened teeth
  • Grinding sounds while you sleep
  • Headaches (usually starting from the temple region)
  • Chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Poor sleep

Causes of Bruxism

There is no one specific cause of bruxism but is the result of a combination of physical, psychological and genetic elements.

  • Stress, such as anger and/or anxiety
  • Family members who also suffer from bruxism
  • Underbite, overbite and other abnormal bites
  • Antidepressants, antipsychotics, and amphetamines can offer side effects leading to bruxism
  • Certain neurological conditions (Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease)

If you notice any of the symptoms above, speak to your National Dental Care dentist, at a suitable time for you and arrange for an inspection. If you notice your child grinding their teeth or suffering from any symptoms, make sure to mention this at their next appointment.

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