What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options

What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options

May 8, 2023

What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Bruxism is a condition that causes teeth grinding, clenching, or gnashing. It can happen at any time, during the day or night, and can cause tooth damage, headaches, and jaw pain. Stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders are among the causes of bruxism, and treatment may include lifestyle changes, mouth guards, and relaxation techniques.

What are the Causes of Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

The most common causes of bruxism, or teeth grinding, are complicated and multifaceted. Following are some of the most common causes:

  • Stress, Anxiety, and Emotional Tension: are all considered significant causes of bruxism. When stressed, people may unintentionally grind or clench their teeth, causing tooth damage and jaw pain.
  • Sleep Disorders: like sleep apnea and snoring can also contribute to bruxism. Sleep apnea is when an individual repeatedly stops breathing at night, causing them to wake up frequently and grind their teeth.
  • Medications: Antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants can all cause bruxism as a side effect. This is because they can alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in involuntary teeth grinding.
  • Lifestyle Factors: such as drug and alcohol use, smoking, and caffeine consumption can all contribute to bruxism. These substances can affect the nervous system, causing teeth grinding.
  • Dental Issues: such as misaligned teeth, missing teeth, or a poorly fitting dental crown or bridge, can also contribute to bruxism. When a person’s teeth are misaligned, they may grind their teeth in an attempt to find a more comfortable position for their jaw.
  • Factors of Genetic Origin: Bruxism may have a genetic component. Some people may be more prone to teeth grinding due to inherited traits such as a specific jaw structure or nervous system response.

What are the Symptoms of Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Some of the common symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Tooth Damage: Grinding and clenching can cause tooth damage, such as chipping, cracking, or wear.
  • Jaw Pain and Stiffness: Bruxism can cause muscle pain and stiffness in the jaw, making opening and closing the mouth difficult.
  • Headaches: can be caused by the pressure and tension caused by teeth grinding.
  • Ear Pain: Bruxism can cause referred ear pain, which can be misdiagnosed as an ear infection.
  • Disruption in Sleep Patterns: Teeth grinding can disrupt sleep patterns, causing daytime fatigue and sleepiness.
  • Gum Recession: Bruxism can cause gum recession, leading to tooth sensitivity and, in severe cases, tooth loss.
  • Chronic Teeth Grinding: can cause facial pain, especially in the temples and cheeks.

If left untreated, bruxism can cause significant damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw. To avoid further complications, it is critical to seek tooth-grinding treatment near you if you suspect you are grinding your teeth.

What are the Treatment Options for Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Here are five options for bruxism treatment:

  • Splints or Mouthguards: A mouthguard is a device that fits over the teeth to prevent them from grinding or clenching while sleeping. It is one of the most commonly used bruxism treatments. Our dentist near Clear Lake can custom-fit the mouthguard, which can help to reduce muscle tension, relieve pain, and protect the teeth from damage.
  • Behavioral Therapy: When the condition is caused by stress or anxiety, behavioral therapy can effectively treat bruxism. It includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and stress management. These techniques can aid in stress reduction, relaxation, and the prevention of teeth grinding and clenching.
  • Medications: Medications can be prescribed to treat bruxism symptoms. Muscle relaxants can help to relax the jaw muscles, while anti-anxiety medications can help to reduce stress and prevent teeth grinding. Pain relievers can also be used to alleviate the condition’s discomfort.
  • Botox Injections: help relax the muscles in your jaw and prevent teeth grinding. This treatment option is typically reserved for severe cases of bruxism and should only be administered by a trained healthcare professional.
  • Dental Procedures: Dental procedures may be recommended by our dentist in Houston, TX at American Modern Dental in some cases to correct underlying dental issues that may contribute to bruxism. A misaligned bite, for example, or missing teeth, can cause uneven pressure on the teeth, leading to grinding or clenching. Correcting these issues can help to alleviate bruxism symptoms.

Get Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) Treatment Near You

Bruxism is a condition characterized by teeth clenching or grinding, often while sleeping. It can cause jaw pain, headaches, and tooth damage. Mouthguards, relaxation techniques, medications, Botox injections, and dental procedures are among the treatment options. Working closely with a dentist is essential to determining the best approach for managing this condition and preventing long-term damage to the teeth and gums. Contact American Modern Dental today to get bruxism treatment in Houston, TX!