Bruxism The Basics That You Need To Know

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Bruxism (the formal name for teeth grinding) is one of the most common dental health problems today, and it’s also one of the most painful and frustrating issues you might be experiencing without even knowing it.

Here are a few things you should know about bruxism, how to spot it, and what to expect when you seek treatment for it:

  • There isn’t much information about what really causes a person to grind their teeth, but stress and muscle tension have a lot to do with it; stimulants, including any food or drinks containing caffeine, have been known to cause muscle tension and make it more likely for someone to grind their teeth. Certain medications have also been linked to bruxism, and a side effect could be an increased risk of teeth grinding at night.

  • The real struggle of bruxism is that it occurs primarily at night when the person is asleep — so there’s really no way to catch yourself in the act! People often discover that they’re suffering from teeth grinding when they notice other dental health problems, like increased sensitivity in the teeth and gums, or because they wake up with a sore jaw and a pounding headache.

  • Because bruxism is considered to be a sleep-related disorder, anyone suffering from another sleep problem is more likely to develop bruxism as well. The most common situation is when a person has sleep apnea.

  • Diagnosing bruxism tends to be the trickiest part, but any dental health professional can look at your teeth and see if you’ve been grinding your teeth. The easiest way to tell that a person has bruxism is to see whether the teeth are worn down.

  • Treatment options are actually pretty simple, and they can work almost instantly! The most common treatment is a plastic mouthguard, which is worn at night to prevent the person from grinding their teeth together. These oral hygiene products are pretty affordable, durable, and once you get used to them, they’re very comfortable, too.

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