Bruxism is a habit that affects around 8-10% of the population. It is broadly characterised by grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw that can cause tooth wear and breakage, disorders of the jaw (pain and limited movement) and headaches. Bruxism occurs in both children and adults but is most common in 25-44 year olds. However, most people grind and/or clench their teeth occasionally to a certain degree.
Bruxism is classified into awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. Awake bruxism is characterised by involuntary clenching of the teeth and jaw bracing in reaction to certain stimuli. There is generally no tooth grinding with awake bruxism. Sleep bruxism is characterised by automatic teeth grinding with rhythmic and sustained jaw muscle contractions.
Grinding your teeth can aggravate the joints in your lower jaw, also known as the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. This can lead to pain or tightness in the joint area, and even earaches and headache. The habit can wear down your enamel, cause increased tooth sensitivity, and result in chipped or broken teeth.
If you have this habit, you might want to consider visiting your dentist as there are ways to overcome it.
Stress can play a big part in causing of aggravating bruxism. Most people are not aware they have this habit as it occurs while sleeping (in the same way as snoring) – often it’s a partner that notices, but only if they are a light sleeper.
There are a range of treatments that can be provided to help with bruxism and protect the teeth from further damage.
To find out more, give us a call on 020 88884401