The basics of Bruxism

 Are you waking up in the morning with jaw pain or have you noticed tooth damage over time? You may suffer from a condition called bruxism, and you’re not alone. Almost 15% of the general population experience these symptoms.

Bruxism is a disorder where you excessively grind your teeth or clench your jaw and it is known as one of the world’s most common sleeping disorders. It can occur either while awake or asleep and sometimes you will be completely unaware that you are doing it. Our teeth are very strong and durable; however, if this motion becomes repetitive over time, you may be causing permanent damage to your teeth and jawline. It is believed that if you suffer from other sleep disorders, you may also be prone to bruxism.

Symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw joint disorders
  • Damaged teeth
  • Lack of sleep (broken sleep)

Outlining the source

Although bruxism is not clearly understood, studies have shown that different moods, mental health and some medications may also be linked to this disorder. Recreational drugs are also known to cause unnatural chemical reactions in the brain which can cause clenching and teeth grinding while you sleep and even while you are awake.

bruxism diagram

Other possible reasons behind bruxism:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Lifestyle factors
  • Stress – an estimated 70% of bruxism sufferers have claimed to have large amounts of pressure and stress which may be the common denominator for bruxism in some patients.
  • Earache
  • Smoking or caffeine prior to sleep
  • Insomnia – sleep stress
  • Entering REM-stage of sleep

What damage can come from this?

Over time, grinding may cause damage to the surface of your teeth and may even lead to cracks or breakages. These damages are amplified with the repetitive pressure added when clenching and can also depend on the previous condition of teeth.

When you visit Smile Perfection, we will be able to outline whether bruxism is the cause of your jaw pain or tooth damage.

Treatments for Bruxism

While there is no simple cure for bruxism, Smile Perfection specialises in treating the disorder with a popular and cost effective method which may ease some patients. A custom made protective night guard or bite splint is made to suit you and your needs and is only required at night while you sleep.

Studies have shown that getting at least 7 hours of sleep and reducing stress levels may also assist in the prevention of teeth grinding and clenching. Your sleep style may also be a factor in bruxism; if you try to sleep on your stomach or back, you may be able to ease the grinding. General physical exercise has also been linked to treating bruxism and has assisted some patients as it reduces physical and mental tension.

Mild bruxism may not require treatment so to determine whether you are causing extreme damage to your teeth, contact Smile Perfection for a consultation.


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