Habitual teeth grinding? You might have Bruxism
Dr. Ashok Kumar Selva
Indiranagar, Bengaluru May 30, 2018
Do you have an involuntary habit of grinding you teeth? This maybe a condition called Bruxism. It is a condition where the person has a tendency to clench or grind their teeth when they are awake or asleep.
Causes and types of Bruxism
Bruxism does not have a particular cause and is more of a combination of genetic, physical and psychological factors. It is of two types
- Sleep bruxism: Grinding or chewing of teeth while asleep. People with this condition usually have other sleep related disorders as well like snoring. This condition is usually associated with arousals while asleep.
- Awake bruxism: Unconscious clenching of teeth while awake
- This may be due to anxiety, stress, tension and anger or a habit to help in coping during important activities.
Symptoms of bruxism
- If its awake bruxism, it might be fairly easy to figure
- Sleep bruxism is sometimes loud enough to wake your partner
- Worn out enamel
- Chipped or loose teeth
- Tooth pain
- Tight and tired jaws
- Jaw, neck and face pain
- Cheek damage on the insides
- Mild headaches that begin that the temples
- Disrupted sleep
Mild, occasional Bruxism might not be a very big concern but in very habitual cases, in adults or children, be sure to visit a dentist as it can damage teeth and cause jaw pain and headaches.
In many cases especially children, no treatment is necessary as they outgrow the tendency with time. In some cases however, dentists design mouth guards and splints to keep the teeth separated and preserve them or make corrections if there is increased sensitivity and difficulty chewing. Some other approaches, based on the root cause could be stress relief programmes and anxiety management.