Bruxism: How Can It Harm Your Teeth In Sleep?

Bruxism: How Can It Harm Your Teeth In Sleep?

Posted by Dr. Lee on Aug 4 2020, 05:26 AM

Clenching or grinding teeth when you feel stressed, nervous, or angry may not be a big deal for some people. But making it a habit can pose a threat in the long run. Over time, it may lead to tooth damage and other oral complications, like gum recession. If you or someone you know has teeth grinding issues, visit East Burn Dentistry right away.

What makes people grind teeth?

There might be various factors that cause teeth to grind during daytime or nighttime:

  • Bruxism that occurs when you awake or during awake hours is known as "awake bruxism ." This may happen because of stress, anxiety, tension, or even while focusing on something.
  • Bruxism happening while you are sleeping is known as "sleep bruxism." This probably happens because of unconscious or subconscious brain activity while sleeping and dreaming.
  • People with anger-management issues, aggressive in nature, or hyperactive personalities tend to grind their teeth.
  • The ones trying to keep their depression at bay through certain drugs, alcohol, tobacco, other beverages may also experience bruxism.
  • Medical conditions like ADHD, dementia, Parkinson's disease, etc., may lead to grinding teeth.

As per the National Sleep Foundation, one out of four people grind their teeth due to sleep apnea during nighttime. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism?

Someone with bruxism may notice symptoms like:

  • Having a clenched jaw in the morning
  • Throbbing headaches
  • Feeling soreness or tightness in the jaw muscles.
  • Sensitivity
  • Gum recession
  • Sounds of clicks or cracks when chewing or yawning
  • Finding it difficult to open or close your mouth
  • Eating food may turn into a painful situation.
  • Experiencing pain near ears
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Excessive wear and stress on the teeth' surfaces

What are the problems that may occur due to Bruxism?

Some problems due to teeth grinding are as follows:

Tooth damage: Chronic teeth grinding may, over time, erode your tooth enamel which makes your teeth more prone to cavities, fractures and even makes them loose from the socket. In severe cases, teeth can be ground down to stumps.

TMJ/TMD: Damage to the jawbones may progress to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which may worsen, leading to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

How can I prevent Bruxism?

You can prevent teeth grinding by following the steps below:

  • Quit smoking, drugs, and alcohol, which can worsen sleep bruxism.
  • Go to your dentist for regular dental checkups. A dentist can easily identify the dental issues caused by teeth grinding and help you with treatment that can avoid long-term damage.

To learn more, visit East Burn Dentistry at 1415 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214. Call us at 503-233-4871 for appointments.

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