Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of the teeth, either unconsciously during the day or while you sleep. Many people arent aware they have bruxism until complications arise, or they are told they are bruxers by their dentist.
The pressure caused by clenching the teeth can do major damage to your mouth. Your jaw exerts 600 lbs of pressure per inch, and long-term application of this pressure can be detrimental to your teeth, previous dental work, and can even cause other health problems. Here are a few of the issues that can be caused by bruxing:
- aching jaw
- receding gums
- loosening teeth
- wearing away enamel
- sensitive teeth
- damage to the inside of cheeks
- jaw joint disorders
Rather than a medical condition of its own, bruxism disorder is more of a bad habit. While it cannot be truly cured, it is important to take manage the behavior. If you find yourself grinding or clenching your teeth while you are awake, you can slip your tongue between your teeth to teach yourself to keep space between them. But what do you do if you grind your teeth at night?
Your dentist can fit you with a special appliance called a night guard to help protect your teeth and break the habit. This small tool is molded to the shape of your teeth, preventing full contact between them while you sleep. If youve caused any damage to your teeth, you will need to complete restorative work before it can be built for you. Consistently wearing the device and being cognizant of any clenching behavior during the day can make managing the
Because stress is a major contributor to bruxism, it is also recommended that you do things to try to relax if you have this condition. Exercise, meditation, or counseling can help reduce stress levels. Those with hyperactive personalities, such as those with ADHD, have a higher rate of bruxism than most people, possibly because they experience higher levels of stress.
If you think you may be struggling with bruxism, your dentist can help you understand and manage the condition. Dr. Pham and the staff of the Center for Beautiful Smiles will be happy to help you with this or any other dental issues you need to address. Call us today to make an appointment.