What is Bruxism? Why Should We Care?

Has your dentist told you you are grinding your teeth? You are not alone. It is estimated that as many as 40 million Americans grind their teeth every day. If you are one of these people, you may suffer from bruxism. 

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. More specifically, It is characterized as the clenching or grinding of teeth. There are two types of Bruxism: Awake Bruxism and Sleep Bruxism. Awake Bruxism is very common. Up to 30% of adults grind their teeth during the day. Sleep Bruxism, though a bit less common, can have way more drastic effects if left untreated. It is estimated that 13-20% of the adult population suffer from Sleep Bruxism and could benefit from a dental night guard. Sleep Bruxism can have very drastic effects on our well being because we do not have control over our jaws while we sleep; The jaw can create up to 150 psi of force while we sleep! That is a lot of wear and tear on the teeth.

What Are The Effects Of Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)?

After a long night of teeth grinding, we can wake up with:

  • Facial pain
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Pain and stiffness in the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) and surrounding muscles, which can lead to Temporomandibular disorder
  • Disrupted sleep (for you or your partner) 
  • Worn-down teeth, which can lead to increased sensitivity and even tooth loss
  • Broken teeth or fillings

What Causes Bruxism?

Doctors have yet to fully agree on the main causes of Bruxism. However, Many believe Bruxism occurs because of stress. This is true. Stress does correlate to instances of teeth grinding. It is estimated that up to 70% of Bruxism cases are stress induced. However, mental disorders, nicotine, drug consumption, and alcohol consumption are highly correlated with bruxism as well. 

How Can We Treat Bruxism?

The first thing to do if you find yourself grinding your teeth is speak with your dentist to figure out what the best course of action is for you. Your dentist will very 

Can a Custom Night Guard Help?

Wearing a custom night will not cure you of bruxism. However, a custom night guard for teeth grinding will protect the teeth from the symptoms of bruxism. Cheeky custom night guards are made of dental clear hard acrylic, which is very well suited to protect teeth grinders while they sleep. 

Conclusion:

Bruxism is very very common and it really hurts. There is no cure for the affliction and there is  no one agreed upon cause of it. However, Custom night guards for teeth grinding have been very helpful for many teeth grinders. A dental night guard can drastically improve the quality of teeth grinders' sleep, leaving them waking up more refreshed and in less pain. If you grind your teeth, speak to your dentist to find the best solution for you. 

 

 

References:

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