The Basics of Bruxism - Should You Be Worried?

Posted on 9/15/2019 by Karl Olson
The Basics of Bruxism – Should You Be Worried?Bruxism is, simply, the grinding of teeth. The most common type of bruxism is “sleep bruxism”—grinding while sleeping, but many people also suffer from bruxism while awake.

Bruxism is generally an unconscious act, often due to an unbalanced bite, crooked teeth, or stress. Many people suffer from mild bruxism, which may not be cause for concern. Few bites are perfect, and when our upper and lower teeth meet, there is commonly a slight grind associated with the meeting of the teeth. But more severe bruxism can cause serious health concerns.

Do I Have Bruxism?

Sufferers may feel a dull, deep jaw ache, restricted movement in the jaw, jaw crepitus (crackling), pain akin to headache, or earache. There may also be pain in the face and/or neck. Some people with chronic, severe bruxism also clench their jaw hard enough to bite their cheeks at night—so look for signs of tissue damage to your inner cheeks, as well.

Bruxism can cause a weakening of the teeth. Unfortunately, severe grinders may be at risk of fracturing, chipping, or wearing down their teeth. Weakened teeth are exposed to bacteria, which cause decay. Those with severe bruxism are more vulnerable to tooth pain and tenderness, and may require more fillings, root canals, and even implants, bridges, or dentures in later stages.

How Can I Treat Bruxism?

Your routine checkup will reveal signs of bruxism. Our dentists will be able to assess damage to your teeth and recommend treatments. Each case is different, and some sufferers may only require mild treatment. Our dentists can look at your bite and tell you whether or not your bruxism is a result of a dental or orthodontic issue, or of stress. In both cases, a treatment plan can be discussed. A custom-made mouth guard is often recommended to treat the symptoms of bruxism. If you are suffering any of the above symptoms, please call our office for an appointment today.

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