What Is Bruxism?

Do you grind your teeth? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, millions are affected by bruxism, the medical term for involuntary teeth grinding. While bruxism is common, it can unfortunately cause numerous dental problems. Luckily, knowing what to do if you are a chronic teeth grinder can ensure you keep your smile beautiful and healthy. Learn more about the causes and treatments for bruxism below.  

What Causes Bruxism?

Bruxism can be caused by stress and anxiety, however, since teeth grinding tends to occur during sleep, it is commonly caused by an abnormal bite, missing or crooked teeth, or sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

In more severe cases, bruxism can be related to a condition called “bruxomania,” which is the compulsive grinding and clenching of teeth by an awake person. Psychiatrists believe that cases of severe bruxism and bruxomania frequently occur due to emotional tensions, such as repressed anger, aggression or fear.  

Dental Problems Caused By Bruxism

Bruxism can cause numerous dental problems. In some cases, individuals can experience fracturing and loosening of the teeth, or even tooth loss. In these causes, patients will typically require bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, night guards or dentures to fix damaged teeth. Besides affecting the teeth, bruxism can also worsen TMJ, and can even change the appearance of a patient’s face if the jaws are affected.

How Bruxism Is Treated

Treating bruxism starts with determining the cause of the teeth grinding. In any case, these tips are recommended for anyone with bruxism:

– Avoid caffeine as well as sugary foods and drinks.

– Avoid alcohol, which can lead to excessive teeth grinding.

– Avoid chewing on your pens or pencils.

– If you notice you are clenching your teeth, relax your jaw.

– Place a wash washcloth over your cheeks and jaw.

Teeth Grinding Treatment In St. Petersburg

If you’re a chronic teeth grinder, the dental professionals at Daxon Dentistry can help. We offer a variety of dental services, including crowns, bridges, TMJ therapy and much more. Contact us today at 727-282-1970 to schedule your consultation.