Bruxism 101 – Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth

June 12, 2019
Bruxism is a common condition with negative effects on your teeth.

What is bruxism?

Grinding or clenching your teeth, often when you are unaware of doing this.

What are the possible symptoms of bruxism?

  • Sore Gums
  • Pain and stiffness in your jaw
  • Sensitive, broken or loose teeth
  • A headache
  • Popping or clicking of jaw joints loud enough to wake someone else

Bruxism can cause even further problems such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and insomnia. Cambrian Dental urges you to see your dentist and get immediate help to avoid prolonged suffering.

Your dentist will check the tenderness of your jaw muscles, damage to your teeth, underlying bone, and inside of your cheeks. Dental abnormalities will be identified to determine the risk level of your bruxism.

Bruxism requires treatment

In severe cases, bruxism requires treatment. You may continue to clench and grind your teeth but your dentist knows what to do in order to prevent further issues or correct teeth wear. Splints and mouth guards can be custom fit to your teeth to help alleviate further discomfort. Dental correction such as reshaping the chewing surfaces of your teeth or fitting you for crowns may also be an option.

Your dentist may recommend you stay away from alcohol consumption since grinding is known to intensify after drinking alcohol. Try to avoid chewing gum. Continual chewing tells your jaw muscles “it’s ok to clench”. The repetitive action causes your body to accept clenching as a normal function, making it more likely to occur.

Some questions you will be asked during your dental appointment concerning bruxism are:

  • When did you first experience grinding and/or clenching?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, do you think improves your symptoms?

As you head to your dentist appointment, prepare to answer questions regarding your medical history, symptoms, and medications you are taking. The answers you provide will help the dentist achieve the best solution for your dental issues.

Why do you have this dental problem?

There are many reasons you grind or clench your teeth but stress, anxiety, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, or consuming caffeine are possible linking factors.

Bruxism can happen in children, youths, and adults. If your child experiences bruxism, you can be comforted knowing they will likely outgrow it. It is best to double check with your dentist to identify the severity of bruxism to avoid future oral health issues.

Are you unsure if you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep? Cambrian Dental has a skilled team of professionals who can discover if bruxism is cause for concern; you just need to come in for regular dental visits.

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