Bruxism is the scientific term for grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. About one in three people suffer from bruxism. You probably experience bruxism every once in a while.
Everybody unintentionally clenches their jaw from time to time. However, when you grind your teeth all the time or at inappropriate times, like during sleep, it can do serious damage, turning your sharp choppers into dull stumps.
You might suffer from bruxism and not realize it. It’s not uncommon for people to think their teeth need to remain closed at all times; however, this can lead to harmful jaw clenching.
Bruxism can be genetic, or it can be caused by certain personality types. It’s believed that having a lot of pent up anger or nervous energy will cause you to grind your teeth. It’s also believed that people who are overly aggressive, competitive, and in a hurry tend to suffer from bruxism.
Another recent study shows that grinding can be linked to social anxiety. In a survey of adults in their 30s, they found that teeth grinding wear was higher in those with diagnosed social anxiety.
Sometimes bruxism is caused by substance abuse, like alcohol or drugs. Other times, it can happen to people who suffer from improper bites. Malocclusion (when your upper and lower teeth don’t close evenly) can cause you to grind your teeth at night.
A lot of people grind their teeth and don’t realize it, because most of the time people grind their teeth at night. Most of the time people don’t figure out that they grind their teeth until it’s too late, and their teeth are worn down or fractured. Some telltale signs of bruxism are sore jaws and a constant headache upon waking. Some people find out they grind their teeth, because their sleep partners hear them grinding at night.
Most of the time we can identify if you have bruxism, because the tops of your teeth will be flattened. You might also feel sensitivity, because you’ve whittled away the enamel of your teeth. Sometimes tooth grinding will develop into larger problems like TMJ, which causes a popping and clicking sound when you open your jaw. Sometimes jaw clenching can also lead dents in your tongue.
Bruxism will pose a risk to your dental implant treatment. During the healing process of your implant treatment, you’ll need to be very careful that you’re not putting too much stress on your implant. Even after your implant has healed, you’ll need to make sure you have your bruxism under control. Your jaw is incredibly strong and putting constant pressure on the implant not only wears away your other teeth, but it can cause premature implant failure.
Just because you grind your teeth doesn’t mean your implants won’t be a success. There are a lot of steps you can take to get your bruxism under control. For one, you can wear a custom made night guard. This will reduce the amount of force you put on your teeth when you grind and clench your jaw.
There are other lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your tooth grinding. For one, you can cut out substances that are known to cause grinding. Sometimes something as simple as getting rid of excess caffeine consumption will ease your nerves enough to stop grinding. You can also cut back on alcohol and cigarettes.
If substances aren’t the root of your grinding problem, then your grinding could be stress related. You can relax your jaw muscles at night by putting a warm compress on your cheek near your earlobe.
At Starbrite Dental, we’ll make sure that your bruxism is under control, so your dental implant treatment is successful.
Dr. Munira Lokhandwala
38350 Fremont Blvd., Suite 103
Fremont, CA 94536
Monday: 9AM – 6PM
Tuesday: 9AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 9AM – 6PM
Thursday: 9AM – 6PM
Friday: 9AM – 6PM
Saturday: 9AM – 5PM