is bruxism? Bruxism (pronounced BRUK-sizm) is the technical
termfor forcible grinding and clenching of the teeth. It usually
happens at night, during sleep, although some people grind their
teeth during the day as well. People who suffer from bruxism may
also bite their fingernails or pencils, or chew the insides of their
common is bruxism? About half of US adults grind their teeth
at night, and about 20% (over 40 million people) grind their teeth
in a destructive way. Most people who grind their teeth are over
25 years old, and the disorder affects women and men about equally.
Children also grind their teeth, but usually in response to discomfort
caused by colds, ear infections or allergies. Most cases of bruxism
in children resolve on their own without causing tooth damage or
causes bruxism? Bruxism can have a variety of causes, but the
most common are probably emotional factors such as daytime stress,
anxiety, anger, pain and frustration. Certain sleep disorders can
trigger grinding of the teeth as well. People who are competitive,
aggressive, and rushed may also be at greater risk for bruxism.
Lastly, alcohol and some types of medications may worsen tooth grinding.
bruxism can be a serious problem: When you chew your food, your
deliver a force of about 175 pounds per square inch (psi) to your
teeth. But when you grind your teeth at night, there's no food to
absorb the impact, so the force on your teeth can be 300 psi or
more. That's enough to cause permanent damage to your teeth, including
cracked and chipped enamel, hairline fractures, and even wearing
down of the teeth to the gumline. The enamel may become so worn
that the inside of the tooth (called the dentin) is exposed. If
bruxism isn't treated, it can lead to gum damage, loss of both natural
teeth and restorations, and other more complicated jaw-related disorders
(such as TMJ known as temporomandibular joint disorders). Over time,
your teeth may become sensitive due to exposed dentin, and your
jaws may even move out of proper balance. Grinding your teeth can
also cause a wide variety of other symptoms including soreness and
fatigue in your jaw and facial muscles, and earaches or headaches-especially
when you wake up in the morning. There is no known cure for bruxism.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce or stop your grinding and
even ways to limit further damage and pain due to grinding.
YOU GRIND YOUR TEETH?
to find out if you're grinding your teeth? Because most bruxism
happens at night, most sufferers aren't even aware of it until a
sleep partner mentions the noise (an extremely disturbing sound,
like fingernails on a blackboard), or until a dentist notices that
their teeth are damaged. Here are some typical symptoms that may
indicate nighttime teeth grinding:
Jaw or facial pain and tenderness on awakening that lessens throughout
Headaches or earaches in the morning that go away as the day wears
Spouse or sleep partner complains that the noise is keeping them
awake at night
Teeth have become sensitive to cold, pressure, or other stimuli
Indentations on tongue
Tips of teeth appear flattened
to do if you think you may be grinding your teeth: If you think
you might be grinding your teeth at night, the first thing to do
is visit your dentist to assess any possible damage. It's essential
to halt the course of the disease to prevent or arrest damage to
your teeth, gums, and jaws.
Night Guard is also used as therapy to treat these conditions.