Do you often wake up with a sore jaw or teeth that feel worn down? You might be experiencing bruxism, a common but often overlooked dental condition. Bruxism refers to the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, often unconsciously. Let’s have a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for bruxism, as suggested by a King of Prussia periodontics specialist.
Causes of Bruxism-
- Malocclusion: Misaligned teeth, also known as malocclusion, are believed to cause bruxism. When your teeth aren’t aligned properly, your body may resort to clenching and grinding them together to find comfort.
- Stress and Anxiety: Anxiety and stress are frequently linked to bruxism. As a physiologic reaction to stress or worry, some people clench their jaws or grind their teeth.
- Medications and Substances: Some medications, like antidepressants as well as recreational drugs, can induce bruxism in their users. The risk of teeth grinding may also be heightened when you consume copious quantities of alcohol or coffee.
Symptoms of Bruxism-
- Worn Down Teeth: Due to repeated clenching, bruxism can gradually wear down your tooth enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and increased risk of cavities.
- Teeth Grinding Sounds: A partner or family member might notice the sound of grinding or clenching during your sleep.
- Morning Jaw Pain: If you frequently wake up with a sore or tense jaw, it could be due to bruxism.
- Tooth Sensitivity: Bruxism can lead to tooth sensitivity as the enamel wears down from the constant friction.
- Headaches: Frequent tension headaches can be attributed to bruxism, especially if you’re experiencing it on waking up.
- Earaches: Another indicator of bruxism is ear pain. The pressure generated by clenching or grinding may lead to earaches.
Treatment for Bruxism-
- Mouthguards: Your dentist can create a custom-fit mouthguard that you wear at night. This dental guard will save your teeth from additional harm and relax your jaw muscles.
- Stress Management: One of the leading causes of bruxism is stress and anxiety, both of which may be relieved by stress management strategies like hobby pursuance or practicing mindfulness.
- Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be helpful in overcoming teeth-grinding in certain patients.
- Medications: When nothing works, your medical professional may prescribe medicine such as muscle relaxants or anti-anxiety drugs to help you cope.
- Dental Corrections: Orthodontic or restorative dental work may be suggested if it is determined that crooked teeth are a contributing factor to your bruxism.
Bruxism is a frequent dental condition that can lead to oral problems and discomfort. If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from a dentist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations.