Bruxism is often defined as the grinding and clinching of the teeth. Bruxism has taken about 30 to 40 million people in the US, between both kids and adults. Some folks are accustomed these characteristic dental conducts and there are folks who grind their teeth even during sleep. This is called “nocturnal bruxism” or “sleep related bruxism”. Some other people might have this automatic practice of teeth grinding during the day. Bruxism is often associated with anxiety and stress, while some experts believe that bruxism is just a habit and nothing more than that.
Bruxism can be induced due to stress but also might be a spontaneous response due to misalignment of teeth. Bruxism can also be a sign of some of the rare neuromuscular diseases that involves the face. In certain rare cases, bruxism can be an after effect of certain medicines used for treating depression, such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. People having habitual bruxism can even go through a breakage in fillings in restored teeth. When the teeth are rubbed together it causes the outer most enamel layers to erode thus, exposing the dentin, and causing tooth sensitivity. Severe bruxism can also be a common cause of dysfunction of the jaws, unexplained morning headaches and frustrating facial pain.
A few of the more common symptoms of bruxism are rhythmical tightening of your jaw muscles, grinding sounds while sleeping that might cause sleep disruptions for the person lying next to you, and an unexplained headache in the morning. Other symptoms include constraining or pain of the jaw muscles during the morning, long-lived facial pain, damaged teeth, breaking of fillings, injured gums as well as pain in the jaw joints.
If you have been seeing any of these dental problems, you should see a dentist immediately because a dentist will be in the best position to determine if you are a teeth grinder and will suggest essential steps after evaluating you. Your tooth doctor might ask you some general questions pertaining to your dental health, about stress in your life and if you are under any medication. If you’re living with a mate, the dentist might also ask a few questions to him/her such as questions related to your sleeping habits, unusual sounds while sleeping, grinding sounds at night. After that, your dentist will closely observe you, paying attention to the mouth and the jaw regions.
During examination, your dentist will also check for any tenderness in the jaw muscles and the joints as well. Your dentist might further look for any other abnormalities like, broken teeth, hapless alignment of teeth or absent teeth.