Bruxism or teeth grinding

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Do you have the habit of clenching your teeth and ever wonder why you do so? or sometimes, you might not even realized that you were clenching your teeth; however, you had landed up with jaw pain? Well, then here I am to explain why you do so and how could it be rectified.


What are all the possible reasons for bruxism and how to rectify them? 

As said bruxism is nothing but teeth clenching, there are some possible connections with your dental abnormalities or sometimes, with your mental health linked with this condition.

  1.  Foremost reason could be misaligned teeth structure. When your teeth occlusion is not properly oriented, it could forcefully lead you to prefer an altered bite for comfort. However this changed position would ultimately weaken your temporomandibular joint and its surrounding masticatory muscles. If this is your case, then you need to undergo orthodontic treatment. Braces are the best way to rectify misalignment. Without correcting this route cause, it is impossible to avoid bruxism.
  2.  Stress and situational anxiety are an another important cause for bruxism. Unconsciously you will tend to clench your teeth to dissipate your frustration or anger. Chronic depression or sometimes,  personality types like aggressiveness, competitive or hyperactive could cause to brux. However, in most instance these are self corrected one and does not require medical intervention. Just that you need to understand and accept your change in behavior and put yourself to resolve it. Changing your lifestyle is one best way to overcome depression. Do what you like rather than losing yourself. By consciously remembering your abnormal bite force, and taking steps to avoid them is an another way of controlling bruxing habit. But in some cases, you might require a night guard when you clench your teeth during sleep or incase you clench so much that have affected your TMJ badly. 
  3.  Bruxism can also be associated with other mental and medical disorders like Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflex disorder, nightmares, epilepsy, sleep apnea, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In all these cases, definitely requires medical, dental and/or psychiatric support.   
  4.  Sometimes certain medications and habits like smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs could also cause bruxism. Controlling the habits are the only way to overcome it.


How to identify whether you are unconsciously grinding your teeth or not ?

Well, there are certain signs and symptoms to indicate whether you are clenching your teeth. It includes,

  1.  Flattening of your teeth structure and exposing the deeper layers of tooth
  2.  Fracture of enamel or sometimes, fracture of the tooth itself
  3.  Increasing tooth pain and tooth sensitivity
  4.  Sleep disruption due to abrupt jaw pain
  5.  Inability to open your mouth immediately after waking up in the morning; however, you could slowly open it after a few hours
  6.  Teeth grinding, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
  7.  Pain radiating till jaws and in severe cases, it could cause jaw deviation
  8.  Referred pain in ear, neck and head; however, no actual problem in these referred region.
  9.  Fracture of dentures. To know more about dental crown and bridge fractures and its management, click the link How to manage broken dental crown?
  10.  Tightening of masticatory muscles and exerting pain in the cheek region
  11.  Damage to the inside portion of cheek mucosa
  12.  repetitive dull headache originating from the temple region


Well, if you are facing any of the above symptoms, then it is time to consider bruxism. In mild cases you can handle by yourself, if not, in moderate to severe condition it’s better to seek for medical support at the earliest.

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