Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

What Is Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)?

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a type of disease. In this disease, which is caused by pressing the teeth together, squeezing and grinding accompanies the condition. Teeth grinding can occur while the person is asleep, as well as when they are awake. Understanding the causes of bruxism facilitates the treatment process. Bruxism, a disease that needs to be treated depending on the severity of the disease and the symptoms seen in the person, is a health problem that can cause serious problems.

Teeth grinding can be treated by the dentist. For this reason, it should not be neglected that the person should have oral and dental health checks once a year. In addition, the presence of signs of teeth grinding should not be ignored. Teeth grinding symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the disease. The underlying causes and the person's symptoms are also among the variables in the symptoms. 

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding, seen while asleep or awake, is a health problem called Bruxism. During teeth grinding, the teeth rub against each other and make a chewing motion. During this movement, contractions and hardening of the jaw occur. For the teeth to be clenched, the teeth must be held tightly together, and the muscles must be kept tight. 

Clenching is a problem that can occur day or night for many people. Teeth grinding and clenching cause pain in the face and jaw. Bruxism may be the underlying cause of contractions and hardening in the jaw. If left untreated, it can cause teeth grinding, limitation of movement in the jaw joints, gum disease, dental problems, headaches and earaches, and tinnitus, which can cause long-term problems. The issue of teeth grinding, which the dentist should treat, can be resolved in various ways.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

The causes of teeth grinding may include sleep apnea, some medications, and intense stress. By eliminating these factors, the problem of teeth grinding can be eliminated. Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a treatable condition. Teeth grinding, which can occur while asleep or awake, should be helped by a dentist, as it will lead to different health problems if left untreated.  

Teeth grinding while awake is also considered a habit. Such behavior can lead to pain in the jaw and the surrounding area. In addition, the grinding of teeth while awake can cause various problems, such as headaches and stiffness in the jaw. Generally, the incidence is higher in people under intense stress. 

Teeth grinding does not cause permanent problems, and a short time is sufficient for the healing. Inappropriate bites can occur if the person has a missing tooth in their mouth and the teeth are not aligned. This leads to teeth grinding. Irritation of teeth and gums may occur due to inappropriate bites. 

These irritations are one of the causes of Bruxism. Smoking and heavy consumption of alcohol are also among the causes of teeth grinding. People who consume such products frequently have more teeth grinding than those who do not. Heavy coffee consumption and drug addiction can also lead to Bruxism. 

Stress is one of the most important causes of teeth grinding. The most basic cause of teeth grinding while sleeping or awake is stress. Anxiety and depression are also health problems that cause teeth grinding. If the person's character traits include aggression, ambitious personality, or hyperactivity, the issue of teeth grinding is more common.

Teeth grinding can also be seen in people due to some neurological diseases. Dementia, Epilepsy, or Parkinson's disease are examples of such disorders. It is seen that the drugs used sometimes cause the problem of teeth grinding. Some antidepressant medicines can cause Bruxism. Teeth grinding (bruxism) can also be seen in people with sleep apnea. 

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) Symptoms

Teeth grinding (bruxism) may show different symptoms in each individual. The age of the person or the individual characteristics they have lead to the differentiation of the symptoms. In addition, the symptoms may differ in individuals with certain diseases. Some examples of bruxism symptoms are as follows: 

  • Severe teeth grinding and clenching in the jaw,
  • Significant abrasions on tooth enamel,
  • Increase in toothache and tooth sensitivity,
  • Carving and fractures in teeth,
  • Pain in the neck, jaw and face,
  • Tense jaw joint,
  • Limitation of movement in the jaw joint,
  • Headaches up to the temples,
  • Irritation on the inside of the cheeks,
  • Irritation of the gums,
  • Ear pain,
  • Tinnitus,
  • Sleeping disorder.

What Happens If Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) Is Not Treated?

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a health problem. If left untreated, this health problem, which causes various damage, can occur while asleep or awake. Untreated bruxism can trigger some of the following issues: 

  • Loosening of teeth and permanent tooth loss,
  • Abrasion on tooth enamel,
  • Tooth sensitivities based on irritation,
  • Damage to dental fillings,
  • Fracture of teeth, flattening,
  • The occurrence of severe pain,
  • Limitation of movement in the jaw,
  • Joint syndromes that cause difficulty in chewing,
  • Bleeding gums,
  • Gingivitis.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) Diagnosis and Treatment

Teeth grinding (bruxism) diagnosis and treatment process is necessary for a healthy life. First of all, the diagnosis of teeth grinding is made during the controls to be made by the dentists. During the physical examination, the dentist can understand the situation from broken or chipped teeth. In addition, enlarged jaw muscles and eroded tooth enamel are also leading signs of the teeth grinding problem. 

In case of abrasion on the tooth, the reasons for this are determined by the dentist. Some factors that cause abrasion are not using the right product, consuming acidic and alcoholic beverages too often, or using sweeteners. Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a treatable condition.

During the treatment process, a roadmap is drawn up depending on the severity of the disease. Bruxism, which can be treated in various ways, is eliminated by the dentist by choosing the appropriate method. Teeth grinding apparatus and night plaque is an option that can be used in the treatment. These tools serve to keep the teeth separated. The material of these apparatuses, which are designed according to the upper and lower teeth, can also be selected from hard acrylic or soft plastic. 

Botox applications can also be used in teeth grinding treatments. This method may only sometimes give permanent results. For this reason, it is not a preferred method very often. If an underlying cause causes teeth grinding, it needs to be determined. Teeth grinding tendency, which occurs in mental health problems, can be eliminated with medications or speech therapy. 

The drugs to be used are determined during the psychological treatments for the underlying cause. When drug treatment will be applied, medication can be given according to the doctor's recommendation to relieve pain or swelling caused by tooth grinding. Muscle relaxants are also among those recommended by the dentist. Resting and relaxing the jaw muscles may lead to regression of symptoms in some cases.

Thanks to biofeedback therapy, teeth grinding problems can be solved. Biofeedback therapy is an unproven method that can contribute to the improvement of symptoms. This method is a therapy method that aims to teach the control of heart rate as well as breathing.