Bruxism: Causes, Treatment, and How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common problem that occurs when you clench or grind your teeth. It’s an issue that affects many people, however, the impact may vary depending on the extent of the clenching. 

Some people grind or clench during the day, affecting others while they sleep. Although it’s difficult to control during the day, if you clench your teeth in your sleep, the problem becomes increasingly difficult to manage. 

You may have been told you have bruxism during a dental checkup or have concerns that uncontrollably clenching and grinding your teeth is causing pain. Understanding more about the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of bruxism can help. 

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about bruxism and what we can do for you.

What Problems Can You Face When You Grind Your Teeth?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder 

Your temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to your skull. It’s an important joint used in speech and when eating. TMJ disorders are very painful and can cause discomfort in your neck, shoulder, back, face, head, and ears. 

Damage to your teeth

Constantly grinding or clenching your teeth together gradually weakens the enamel, putting your teeth at a greater risk of developing cavities. If you clench or grind your teeth too hard, you may also break or chip them or cause them to become loose. 

Damage to the surface of your teeth puts you at risk of infections, and weak enamel will cause your teeth to become more sensitive.

Other medical issues

Teeth grinding can also cause earache, headache, and migraines. In addition, clenching may cause muscle sensitivity. While bruxism may be a result of anxiety, worrying about not being able to stop yourself and the potential damage can add to your stress and worry. 

Clenching your teeth most of the time can also impact your sleep and contribute to insomnia and depression. Difficulty eating can also lead to many other health problems. 

What Causes Bruxism?

Bruxism is an involuntary habit, and the cause is not always clear. Factors like stress and anxiety often play a part in it, while people with conditions like ADHD or dementia may clench their teeth often. 

Sleep apnea and snoring may cause you to clench your teeth while you sleep. Certain medications, such as antidepressants, as well as smoking and drinking alcohol, can also contribute to the problem. 

Genetics is also a potential cause, and the position of your teeth may lead to clenching. You may have a bite alignment issue where your upper and lower teeth don’t meet correctly when your mouth is closed. 

Bite issues can develop when there isn’t enough room along your jaw to accommodate your teeth. They can also develop as a result of habits like thumb and dummy sucking or tongue thrusting. 

How Is Bruxism Treated?

Treatments for bruxism vary depending on the cause. Your GP may recommend tests for sleep apnea or medication to manage stress and anxiety. 

If the position of your teeth is causing you to clench, straightening might help. We can use braces or Invisalign clear aligners to reposition your teeth gradually. 

How Can You Stop Grinding Your Teeth?

Reducing stress and anxiety can help. Some ways to lower stress levels are practicing mindfulness, meditating, doing something you enjoy, reading a book, and taking a relaxing bath. 

We can provide a nightguard that protects your teeth during your sleep. Michigan splint mouthguards are custom-made to fit your teeth. They are made from a durable material to withstand clenching and grinding. 

Bruxism Treatment in London

Bruxism can cause considerable physical discomfort and affect your mental health. We take this problem seriously as it can leave lasting damage to your teeth while impacting your quality of life. 

If you’re concerned about teeth grinding, get in touch with us today and book a consultation.

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