What Is Bruxism?
Do you have tenderness or pain in your jaw muscles? Are your teeth worn down, fractured or chipped? If so, you may have bruxism, a condition in which a person grinds their teeth involuntarily while not chewing. The teeth grind or rub together as the jaw moves forcefully either from side to side or back and forth. Often, the person is not aware that they are doing it. While it can happen during the day, bruxism typically takes place while you are asleep. Sleep bruxism is generally more severe due to the force applied during episodes, which can cause serious problems for the teeth and jaw.
Signs and Symptoms
Most teeth grinding episodes occur during sleep, so many people are unaware that it is happening. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth from their loved ones who hear them at night. Here are some telltale signs that you may be grinding your teeth:
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose
- Worn enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Tired or tight jaw muscles or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
- Jaw, neck, or face pain or soreness
- Dull headache starting in the temples
- Sleep disruption
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
What Causes Bruxism?
While at times it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause, there is reason to believe that people under increased stress and certain personality types are more prone to Bruxism. It often affects people with nervous tension caused by anger, pain, or frustration and people with aggressive, anxious, or overly competitive tendencies. Bruxism may also be related to an abnormal bite, which means the teeth do not meet properly when the jaw closes. If the top and bottom teeth do not come together properly, this is called occlusal discrepancy.
Many people who are unsure where to turn for relief from their discomfort don’t realize that their dentist can help. During your regular exam, we will look for signs of teeth grinding and wear on your teeth. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from bruxism, call our location in West Chester, OH to book your next appointment today!