What is Bruxism?

pain caused by bruxism - Pittsburgh dentist Bruxisum is a condition in which an individual grinds, gnaws, or clasps their teeth repetitively. An individual with bruxism grinds their teeth or clasps their jaw unknowingly, which can lead to other problems like headaches, flattened teeth, or jaw issues.

Most bruxism occurs during sleep; this is called sleep bruxism. People with sleep bruxism are more likely to suffer from another sleep-related disorder, such as snoring or sleep apnea. Bruxism is especially harmful while sleeping because reflexive muscles aren’t active.

The causes of bruxism can vary. The most common causes include having crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. Stress and anxiety are also often a factor.

Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can be a cause or a symptom. Common symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Tired, sore, or tight jaw muscles.
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth, especially when it is loud enough to wake your sleeping partner.
  • Tooth wear such as flattened, chipped, cracked, or loosened teeth. Wearing of teeth may expose inner layers.
  • Indentations on tongue or cheek from chewing on them.
  • Dull headache originating in the temples.
  • Pain like that of an earache.

You should see a dentist for bruxism if:

  • Others complain that they can hear you grinding your teeth while sleeping.
  • Your teeth become sensitive, flattened, or worn down.
  • Your jaw or face becomes tired, pained or sore.
  • Your jaw won’t open or close completely.

If you’re in the Pittsburgh area and experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you can contact Dentonics, Inc. using the form on the right side of the page or call 412-487-6910 today to schedule a consultation.

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