Bruxism is the chronic grinding and clenching of your teeth. Ten percent of adults, and as high as 15 percent of children, brux. However, 50 percent of those with a family history of bruxing will brux, too. Bruxing can take place while awake or sleeping. A person who bruxes while sleeping is not conscious of it and it usually occurs as the person passes from a deep stage of sleep to a lighter stage of sleep which can happen several times each night. There are many causes and effects associated with bruxing.
Bruxism is often caused by stress, anxiety, worry, anger, or can happen while concentrating. Also, certain medications can cause bruxing. Bruxers are usually not aware that they are doing it. Once they become aware, however, they may be able to modify the habit. Unfortunately, the habit is not usually brought to light until their dentist recognizes the damage done to their teeth.
There are numerous adverse effects, both short- and long-term, associated with bruxing. Short-term effects include:
- Headache: Bruxers are three times more likely to suffer from headaches.
- Tightness/stiffness/pain in the neck and shoulders
- Aching jaw and face muscles
- Ringing or pain in the ear/s, or the feeling that your ear is plugged
- Inflamed and/or receding gums
- Stiff or tight jaw and/or the inability to open your mouth all the way
- Sleep disruption of bed partner due to noise
- Loose teeth
Long-term effects include:
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
- Worn, chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth
Treatment for bruxism is usually non-invasive and painless and, in some cases, can include relaxation therapy in addition to a custom-designed oral appliance. The appliance is worn when you sleep and prevents your upper teeth from coming into contact with your lower teeth eliminating stress on your jaw joints, tooth wear, pain, and noise associated with grinding and clenching. If your teeth have already been damaged due to grinding, Dr. Wright will likely suggest appropriate restorative treatment to restore your smile.
If You Suspect You’re A Bruxer, Let Us Know!
Don’t wait until you need extensive restorative treatment! If you suspect you’re a bruxer, let us know. Schedule your consultation with Just Wright Dental in Corsicana, TX, today at (903) 225-2221. We proudly serve patients from Navarro County, Mildred, Eureka, Ennis, Fairfield, Teague, Blooming Grove, Dawson, Hubbard, Hillsboro, Mexia, Groesbeck, Kerens, Malakoff, Rice, Centerville, Buffalo, and Athens.