Most of us have experienced jaw clenching or teeth grinding at some point. Whilst this is common, what you may not realize is that doing so regularly could be a medical issue. Bruxism is the chronic grinding of teeth caused by jaw tension.

Although it may not sound serious, bruxism can lead to tooth damage and oral issues. If you’re concerned about bruxism, fear not. Our guide will help you understand what causes bruxism and how to stop grinding teeth.

Read on for all you need to know about jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

What Causes Jaw Clenching?

You may have noticed tension in your jaw during times of stress or anxiety. This tension can lead to pressure between the top and bottom sets of teeth – causing them to grind against each other. Although stress and anxiety are common causes of teeth grinding, they don’t account for jaw clenching at night.

‘Sleep bruxism’ is thought to be caused by dental abnormalities, like crooked or missing teeth. It could also be caused by an abnormal bite such as an underbite or overbite.

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are also linked to bruxism.

Do I Have Bruxism?

As bruxism is usually experienced when asleep, it can be difficult to understand whether or not you are affected. If you experience soreness in the jaw or a persistent, dull headache – this could be why.

It might be that your partner witnesses your teeth grinding and tells you about it. Otherwise, your dentist can identify signs of bruxism, such as tooth erosion.

What Are the Effects?

Chronic grinding of the teeth can cause serious damage. Teeth can be chipped, cracked, loosened and lost. This can require a lot of dental procedures to address – which is both unpleasant and expensive!

Jaw clenching can also cause lasting issues. Jaw conditions can be caused or worsened by bruxism, so it’s worth treating as early as possible.

What Can You Do?

The treatment for your bruxism will depend on the cause. If a sleep disorder is causing your clenching or grinding, treating the disorder should alleviate the symptoms.

Using a mouth guard at night is also an effective way to prevent bruxism. Your dentist will be able to advise you on whether this is an option for you. Check out https://www.bruxnightguard.com.

If your tension is stress-related, speak to your doctor about how to reduce stress and anxiety. There are many ways to address stress, and your doctor will be able to help you identify the best way for you.

Another way to avoid bruxism is to avoid stimulants like caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, and cola. Avoid chewing gum too, as this causes unnecessary clenching of the jaw.

The Bottom Line

Jaw clenching and tooth grinding are common conditions. Although bruxism is not life-threatening, it can lead to some unpleasant oral problems if not treated.

Act soon and this can be avoided. Speak to your dentist and doctor about the best treatments for you.

For more tips to maintain your oral health, check out our blog.

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