What is bruxism? Everything you need to know

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Have you ever woken up in the morning with pain in your teeth or jaw? Possibly it’s because you grinded or clenched your teeth during the night and don’t remember it. If this happens often and has generated major complications such as flattened teeth, sensitivity or inflammation, they may be symptoms that you suffer from bruxism. In this article you will understand what bruxism is and what are its symptoms, consequences and possible solutions.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is a disorder where teeth grinding, gnashing or clenching occurs unconsciously. Although its origin has not been completely determined, experts assure that there are several genetic and social factors that generate this disorder. To diagnose bruxism correctly, a professional should make a detailed examination of the condition of the teeth and the habits and behaviors of the patient to determine the severity of the case and the recommendations to follow.

Is it bad to clench your teeth at night?

Among the different types of bruxism that exist, the most studied so far is nocturnal bruxism, which, although it does not sound dangerous, if the teeth grinding behavior is intense enough, it can cause jaw disorders, headaches or severe damage to the structure or enamel of the teeth. It is necessary to study and discover the reasons for teeth grinding in order to use the right solutions and consult the appropriate professionals.

Bruxism Symptoms and Consequences

Bruxism can significantly impact a person’s oral health, and in severe cases can affect a person’s general and mental health. Recognizing the symptoms early and seeking a trained professional for solutions is critical to treating the disorder before its consequences become more serious.
Its most common symptoms are tooth sensitivity, pain in the jaw, feeling pain in the teeth when waking up or experiencing stressful moments, grinding the teeth until they generate sounds that someone else can pick up, noticing flattened, fractured, split or loose teeth or perceiving pain in the ears even if they are healthy.

Causes of bruxism

The causes of bruxism can vary from patient to patient. At MDE Care we take care of connecting you with the right professionals to understand the causes and symptoms of bruxism and offer solutions that meet the needs and insecurities it can generate.
Similarly, bruxism can be a reaction to certain medications or a consequence of other situations, diseases or disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dementia, epilepsy, nocturnal disorders, Parkinson’s disease or gastroesophageal reflux disorder.

Bruxism due to stress

One of the most common causes of bruxism is stress. Lack of coping with anger, frustration or tension can cause teeth grinding as a way of coping with problems or situations that trigger discomfort. The most complicated thing about stress bruxism is how unconscious and painful the movement is and how little it is detected in time.

Bruxism due to joint and bone abnormalities

When bruxism is not treated in time and becomes a powerful habit, lesions in the dentofacial structures, maxillary disjunctions, muscular contractures can be evidenced or it can lead to more complex pathologies or articular alterations. The bony and articular particularities of each patient may influence the severity and recurrence of bruxism in each patient.

What are the consequences of bruxism?

There are multiple risk factors surrounding bruxism such as stress, age, personality and character, in addition to being a hereditary disorder and a consequence of other diseases.
Its consequences can vary between physical and psychological. The physical consequences can be damage to the enamel and structure of the teeth, neck pain, facial pain, headaches or complications around the ears and jaw.
Psychological consequences include damage to self-esteem, self-image, self-concept and to a large extent affect the quality of life due to constant pain. In cases such as nocturnal bruxism, the disorder can generate alterations in sleep hygiene and cause insomnia or constant pain that prevents proper rest.

How to remove bruxism?

To solve bruxism at its root, it is necessary to know the particular causes of the case and consult with our allied specialists which is the most propitious solution.
In milder cases, awareness of the disorder and changing daily habits and sleeping postures are sufficient options. In more severe cases, it is necessary to repair the teeth and use mouthguards to prevent further wear and tear; resort to permanent treatments or rehabilitation.

Treatment for bruxism.
How can I stop grinding my teeth?

When the simplest solutions are not enough to counteract bruxism, it is necessary to consult a specialist who will determine the steps to be taken. The dentist will investigate the severity of the case based on questions and evaluations and will carefully examine the patient’s oral quality. If necessary, the professional will proceed to repair the damage to the tooth or refer the patient to allies specialized in the creation of prostheses and mouthguards or oral rehabilitation.

Types of bruxism

Bruxism can occur at different times of the day and for different reasons, although the most common may be stress and joint or bone abnormalities. Each type of bruxism has its own variations and complications.

Nocturnal Bruxism

Nighttime bruxism is one of the most studied and has more options to be diagnosed. People who grind their teeth at night often suffer from jaw pain, teeth, or inflammations that can affect their day to day life. Patients who suffer from nighttime bruxism tend to suffer from other types of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or snoring.

Awake bruxism

Bruxism can also happen in the middle of the day as a coping strategy for day-to-day situations, stress, anxiety or deep concentration in the middle of work or projects.

Infantile bruxism

Infantile bruxism is a disorder that is mostly due to factors that change over time such as bone and joint growth. Other causes are genetic and hereditary predisposition. It is necessary to pay attention to the symptoms and pain that the child has to communicate to specialists and seek specific solutions to the case to not generate long-term damage or affect the health of the patient as he/she grows.

Final recommendations

In general, we can say that bruxism is a disorder where teeth grinding is done unconsciously and can affect the health of patients at different levels. In order to detect it on time, it is necessary to pay attention to the symptoms and pains that appear and to consult a specialist.
To treat it in a more home-like manner, relaxing activities can be implemented in daily life, avoiding alcohol, caffeine, not smoking and becoming aware of the act, either with small reminders or small notes that remind you to relax your jaw.

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