Teeth Grinding and Bruxism
Bruxism is the term assigned to what we know as teeth grinding or clenching of teeth. Bruxism can occur:
- While conscious and done deliberately
- While awake without notice and done deliberately,
- During Sleep
Bruxism can be a cause of habit, stress, anxiety, frustration, crooked or misaligned teeth, pressure around the jaw, and other reasons depending on the patient. Sleep bruxism may be caused by a sleep disorder, or simply by the positioning of the jaw during rest periods.
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Why is teeth grinding harmful?
Persistent grinding and clenching of the teeth may not cause concern if occasionally done, but persistent bruxism can result in significant harm to the teeth and jaw. Potential damage from constantly grinding your teeth includes, but is not limited to:
- Fracturing your teeth
- The loosening of your teeth
- Complete tooth loss
- Jaw and joint soreness due to overuse
- Discomfort while eating/chewing
- TMJ Disorder
- Removing filings that were placed to fill cavities
Teeth Grinding Treatment
Ways to combat or prevent bruxism depend on what is causing it. If stress is the cause of teeth grinding and clenching, talk to a counselor about a way to reduce stress and stressful situations. A doctor may present additional remedies for dealing with stress and anxiety.
Crooked or misaligned teeth may be repaired by a dentist or oral surgeon for either cosmetic or therapeutic treatment. A custom-fitted bite plate can be made by your dental health care professional to address bruxism that occurs during sleep. Over the counter bite-guards can be bought to also reduce impact between the top and bottom rows of teeth but do know these do not work as good as the custom ones. Please see our TMJ Treatment page for more information.