What Are the Most Common Signs of Nighttime Bruxism?
Posted on 10/25/2019 by Rho Family Dentistry
Bruxism is the technical term for nocturnal (nighttime) teeth grinding. It can also occur at other times when not in sleep. The term refers to a rubbing of teeth together when not chewing.
Many times, people are unaware they are grinding their teeth together. Nighttime bruxism is much more devastating to our teeth because we aren't awake to catch ourselves doing it and stop.
Grinding puts undue strain on the muscles in and around your jaw. They can lead to sore gums, broken teeth, dull or throbbing headaches and even a clicking sound in the joints of your jawbone. In some cases, earaches can be a result.
What are the Causes of Bruxism?
It's not quite clear what exactly causes bruxism, but there are key factors that have been identified. In children, grinding teeth is typically common as the first few teeth start to come in, and then also once again, when the permanent teeth replace them. Stress is a major favor, as well as anger or anxiety. Research studies have shown that our central nervous system plays a major part in nighttime tooth grinding, through increased brain activity and heartbeat. Bruxism can also be attributed to certain prescribed and over the counter medications.
Our dental professionals will ask you about your oral history and proceed to do an examination, once you come into our office for a consultation. We will look for discomfort in your jaw, wear on your teeth and swollen jaw muscles.
We can help you come up with a routine to manage anxiety and stress and help you prevent nighttime tooth grinding, especially for people who are more susceptible to it than others. Until you can make it into our office, try sleeping in a different position and document how your jaw feels the next morning. Be sure to share that with our dentist so they have a complete picture of what you are experiencing.