Bruxism is a condition in which a person grinds or clenches their teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously grind or clench your teeth when you're awake (Awake Bruxism) or during sleep (Sleep Bruxism). Mild cases of 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 a myriad of other problems.
Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea). These disorders can lead to major health concerns and severe damage to your teeth and jaw.
Signs you might have bruxism include a sore jaw, tooth pain, wear marks on your teeth, irritated gums, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. A dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of sleep bruxism.
If the short-term effects are not treated right away, it will lead to more painful long-term effects. It is best that you seek dental help as soon as symptoms occur. Not only to help you treat bruxism, but also to help avoid tooth loss and destruction.
The following are the dangers of bruxism.
Increased Levels of Stress
Throughout the day many people unknowingly grind their teeth and clench their jaws while dealing with stress. Others might do this at night when trying to fall asleep. Either way, this is a dangerous habit to form and cause increased levels and additional health related stress in your life. If you notice any of the signs we described above, you should immediately find ways to reduce your stress levels. You may want to try breathing exercises, soothing music, meditation or professional help.
Injuries to Your Face and Jaw
Bruxism can make it hard to complete your day-to-day tasks because of the pain you are experiencing. When you have your teeth clenched or grinding, it puts a lot of pressure on your jaw muscles. This can cause your muscles to get tired and swollen. If you do not ease the pressure, you could develop temporomandibular joint (TMJ) symptoms. This is another negative way bruxism can take away from your daily life.
Damage to Your Teeth
You should always make sure that you take care of your tooth enamel when dealing with bruxism issues. Doing so will prevent the enamel from wearing out due to too much grinding and clenching. You need to ensure that you are brushing your teeth twice daily for a minimum of two minutes each time. You also want to use a mouthwash as part of your oral health routine.
It Can Lead to Migraines
Migraines can be debilitating, causing significant pain and interfering with your ability to function efficiently throughout the day and even move around freely. In some cases, bruxism can lead to migraines. Your jaw muscles tighten when you continually grind or clench your teeth. The pain from your jaw created by the excessive clenching travels to skull, causing headaches or, in severe cases, migraines.
If you have been experiencing the issues above, it is time to take action. The first step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist or doctor. They will come up with a plan to help you overcome the dangers of Bruxism.
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