Clenching or squeezing the teeth together, intentionally or unintentionally, is called bruxism or gnashing of teeth. Those who suffer from bruxism rub their teeth only during sleep, which is called “nocturnal bruxism” or “sleepy bruxism”, while others wear their teeth during the day, which is thought to be caused by stress or anxiety.
Stress can occur for many reasons, including tragic events such as the death of a friend or the loss of a job; It can also come from happy events such as a new job or the birth of a child.
If you have the following symptoms, you may be at risk for bruxism:
Rhythmic contractions of jaw muscles
The sound of teeth chattering during the night, which may annoy someone sleeping with you in a room
Jaw muscles that are tight or painful
Prolonged pain in the face
Existence of damaged teeth, splitting of filled teeth and damage to the gums
Swelling (sometimes) on the side of the mandible caused by pressure on the teeth.
Bruxism can have many causes, some experts do not consider bruxism as something out of the ordinary, it can also be the result of the body’s reaction, when the teeth do not overlap. Some experts consider bruxism to be a habit, while others attribute it to one of the following:
Stress, anxiety, frustration and anger
A small weakness, or when the teeth and jaws are not aligned properly
Symptoms of rare diseases of the nerves and muscles of the face
In rare cases, it may be a side effect of some antidepressants, including Prozac (Fluoxetine), Zoloft (Sertraline), and Paxil (Paroxetine).
Bruxism can also be a sign of certain rare diseases of the nerves and muscles.
People with severe bruxism can break dental fillings or damage their teeth.
Grinding the teeth together can destroy the outer layers of tooth enamel and expose them to dentin. This can lead to tooth sensitivity.
Some cases of jaw disorders, as well as headaches caused by temporomandibular disorders (tmd), become unknown when you wake up in the morning.
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, see your dentist, who can determine if you suffer from bruxism and will give you the best possible treatment. Your dentist will ask questions about the general health of your teeth, what sources of stress are in your life, and what medications you are taking. If you share your bedroom with someone, the dentist may want to talk to that person as well. The dentist will ask about your sleeping habits, especially any unusual noises during the night, and will examine you.
To alleviate bruxism, dentists will often prescribe a custom night guard, or if the cause is stress, will recommend some methods that may reduce stress or anxiety.