Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you are awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism).
Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth (brux) during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnoea).
Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.
Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.
Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:
Teeth grinding or clenching, this may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
Teeth those are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that will not open or close completely
Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
Pain that feels like an earache, though it is actually not a problem with your ear
Dull headache starting in the temples
Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
These factors increase your risk of bruxism:
Stress, Increased anxiety or stress can lead to teeth grinding. So can anger and frustration.
Age, Bruxism is common in young children, but it usually goes away by adulthood.
Personality type, having a personality type that is aggressive, competitive or hyperactive can increase your risk of bruxism.
Medications and other substances, Bruxism may be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, such as certain antidepressants. Smoking tobacco, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol, or using recreational drugs may increase the risk of bruxism.
Family members with bruxism, Sleep bruxism tends to occur in families. If you have bruxism, other members of your family also may have bruxism or a history of it.
Other disorders, Bruxism can be associated with some mental health and medical disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflux disorder “GERD”, epilepsy, night terrors, sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnoea, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder “ADHD”.
Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth every day: You know that slippery/fuzzy coating you feel when you first wake up.
Scientists call plaque a “biofilm” because it is actually a community of living microbes surrounded by a gluey polymer layer. The sticky coating helps the microbes attach to surfaces in your mouth so they can grow into thriving micro colonies.