What Is Bruxism?

Have you ever heard the term “bruxism?” This refers to a disorder in which people frequently grind their teeth or clench their jaw. Without treatment, this disorder could eventually damage your teeth and increase the risk of serious oral health issues. Let’s look at what causes bruxism and how we treat the disorder.

Try Our Quiz on Bruxism

  1. True or False: Multiple factors can lead to teeth grinding.
  2. True or False: Headaches can be a warning sign.
  3. True or False: You can take steps to reduce your risk.
  4. True or False: We can treat the issue with an oral appliance.

Answer Key

  1. True. Common causes of the disorder include tooth loss, misalignment, injury to the face or jaw, and untreated TMJ disorder. However, the most common factor behind bruxism is stress.
  2. True. Patients with the disorder may report pain in the jaw or face, headaches, tooth sensitivity or toothaches, and aches in their neck or shoulders. Over time, the persistent grinding can wear down tooth enamel and possibly even crack or chip a tooth, increasing the risk of decay and infection, which causes further discomfort.
  3. True. We recommend cutting back on caffeine products and avoiding chewing on hard or chewy foods/objects. You can also place a warm compress against the side of the jaw to ease strain. If your symptoms persist, even with these steps, then you definitely need to talk to our team about treatment options.
  4. True. Often a custom-made oral appliance can address the problem. Similar in appearance to a nightguard, the device is worn at night and actually repositions the jaw to ease strain on the joints. The device also places a barrier between your upper and lower sets of teeth, preventing further damage to them.

Talk To Cedar West Family Dentistry About Teeth Grinding

At Cedar West Family Dentistry, we can offer solutions to teeth grinding. Our practice can work with you to provide you with care that preserves your appearance and protects your oral health. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with us, call our family dental office in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.