Posted on 12/10/2017 by Dr. Kelsey Ullsmith
Records show that about 30 to 40 million adults in the United States alone suffer from bruxism or reflexive clenching or grinding of teeth, most commonly when one is asleep.
Bruxism is extremely damaging to your dental health considering that you are not in control of the amount of force your jaws are exerting during teeth grinding since you are asleep.
This excessive grinding causes your teeth enamel to be chipped off and the underlying layer of dentin to be exposed, thereby causing teeth sensitivity and other complications like tooth decay, fractured teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and many others.
Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism
There are many possible causes of uncontrolled teeth grinding or clenching. Studies have revealed that stress and anxiety are the most common causes of bruxism among adults.
Other causal factors also include medications like antidepressants as well as dental issues like misaligned teeth or improper bite, allergies, and mouth irritations. Smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks are also believed to increase the likelihood of bruxism.
Since you are most likely unaware of your teeth grinding at night, you should be wary of the symptoms of bruxism, which are commonly observed upon waking up such as a headache, painful jaw, facial pain, and swelling on your lower jaw.
Treatment of Bruxism
The treatment of bruxism varies depending on the cause. For instance, if the grinding is caused by severe stress and anxiety, professional counseling and other forms of psychotherapy may be needed. You should also practice different relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to relieve yourself of stress.
If your bruxism is related to some dental concerns, then we can help you to address your teeth problems so that your grinding can be fixed right away. In case your anti-depressant medications are causing it, you may request for other forms of treatment.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (360) 312-3187 today.