Do you often wake up with a sore jaw or constant headache in the morning? There is a good chance that you are a bruxer, as these are the telltale signs of bruxism. Bruxism is the medical term for the act of teeth grinding and clenching your teeth. Bruxers are not of a certain age but instead can be a young child, an adolescent or an adult.

While the bruxism occurs mostly during the night when you sleep, it can also occur during the day. So what are the causes of bruxism?

 

There are no exact causes of bruxism to date but there are several factors many believe contribute to it:

-stress and anxiety

-cigarette smoking

-alcohol consumption

-abnormal bite or crooked teeth

Occasional teeth grinding and clenching may not cause major damage to your teeth but consistent grinding and clenching will have an impact in the long term (or even short term) such as:

-A tooth fracture which can result in an extraction and implant placement

-Wearing down of all teeth surfaces which can reduce the teeth down to just stumps, cause decay or even result in extractions

-Ear aches

-Constant headaches

-Teeth sensitivity

-Jaw pain and soreness

-The development of the temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) due to the pressure on the muscles, tissues and other structures around the jaw from clenching

How can you help minimize bruxism?

-Your dentist can fabricate a mouth guard to help protect your teeth while you are grinding your teeth.

-If you notice that you are clenching your jaw during the day, use tricks to help relax it. Some of the tricks include putting the tip of your tongue between your upper and lower teeth or putting the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth (try it, it works!)

-Try to de-stress before going to bed such as doing stress relieving exercises, taking a warm bath or even drinking a cup of stress relieving tea.

If you believe you are a bruxer, we recommend that you contact your dentist for an evaluation .

If you are a bruxer and are in need of extractions or implant placements, please give us a call for an evaluation.