People who clench or grind their teeth regularly suffer from a condition called bruxism. Here a bit of information about bruxism to help you better understand it. 

Why Does Bruxism Occur?

A primary cause of bruxism is stress. As a person experiences stress or anxiety, they may clench and grind their teeth, even as they sleep. 

Another cause of dental grinding is undiagnosed sleep apnea. The grinding may occur during the periodic episodes of breathing cessation. 

How Is Bruxism Diagnosed?

Bruxism is frequently diagnosed by a dentist during a routine exam. The dentist may notice that the chewing surfaces of the teeth appear worn. Additionally, the teeth may display cracks or chips.

Before the professional diagnosis, the condition may go unnoticed by the patient. Many people with bruxism experience the condition when they are asleep and are unaware that it is occurring. 

Is Bruxism Damaging?

Bruxism can eventually cause the tooth enamel to wear away. The erosion occurs from the repetitive grinding. As the teeth of the top and lower palates are pressed together, a great deal of bite pressure may be applied, intensifying the damage as the teeth move back and forth.

What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?

Even if a person does not realize that they grind their teeth, they may experience symptoms of bruxism., such as dental sensitivity. Once the enamel is eroded, the dentin layer may be exposed. The dentin contains small tubules that house dental nerves. Thus, the exposure of the dentin can lead to uncomfortably sensitive teeth.

People with bruxism may experience other symptoms as well. Here are a few of them:

  • Pain and tightness in the jaw muscles
  • Chipped teeth
  • Dental cracks
  • Damaged dental work or appliances
  • Temperomandibular joint problems
  • Headaches

The symptoms of bruxism may resolve or dissipate with treatment for the condition. Nevertheless, issues may worsen if no treatment is received.

How Can Bruxism Be Treated?

Episodes of bruxism may decline with stress-relieving activities, such as yoga and breathing exercises. In addition, bruxism sufferers should sleep with a mouth guard in place. The guard absorbs some of the bite pressure to protect the teeth from damage.

Customized guards can be obtained from your dentist. The guards are designed from a mold of your mouth, so they fit your oral cavity comfortably without hindering your ability to get a good night's rest. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of bruxism, schedule a consultation with a dentist, like those at Wakim Family Dentistry, in your area.