Bruxism is the medical condition which is the result of the fact that an individual grinds his/her teeth during the night. Since clenching of the teeth is an involuntary habit, it is also quite difficult to stop it.
Quite a great percentage of bruxism patients clench their teeth during the day too, not only during the night. Every person might experience clenching, grinding teeth, which might be the result of factors such as stress. In this case, the condition is temporary. But there are also a great percentage of individuals who struggle with chronic bruxism.
Several studies have proved that bruxism is a condition that affects around 10% to 50% of the population worldwide, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. Bruxism is a condition strongly linked to the subconscious; therefore it is very difficult to control it. It is important to note that the force of “biting” during the night is actually six times much stronger than during the day. This is why most of the damages in the mouth/ at the level of teeth, is done during sleep time.
Here are some of the factors that might cause bruxism:
- The abnormal alignment of teeth (in this case, many timers the doctor recommends wearing prosthetic bruxism inhibitors. These are devices that the patient has to wear during the night, and this will prevent teeth from clenching and making further damage to the teeth)
- Suppressed anger, stress disorders or an aggressive personality- are all conditions that have side effects during night time
- Prescription drugs- it is important to always read carefully the side effects of every medication that you need to take. While you may want to heal one condition, you can actually help the onset of the other
- Sleep disorders such as insomnia
- The consumption of alcohol, or caffeinated products that over-stimulate the brain
According to several researches, bruxism is most often connected to the stress factor of the patient. Teeth grinding is also a common habit for individuals who are aggressive by nature or who struggle with frustrations.
On the other hand TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is a medical condition in which the patient struggles with inflammation of the joint. His condition might be acute or chronic, and individuals struggling with it, experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in chewing food (painful reaction)
- Morning headaches
- Sometimes loss of hearing
- Tenderness of the jaw (or even chronic pain feelings)
- Sensation of dizziness
- Clicking or popping sounds when attempting to open the mouth wide
TMJ disorders are also closely related to the risk factor. When a person is stressed, the jaw and the muscles in the face area tend to clench and constrict, instead of being relaxed.
Whichever condition you are struggling with, it is advisable that you ask your dentist about effective treatment options. Eliminate stress from your life, and concentrate on having healthy habits that will diminish or even eliminate bruxisnm or TMJ disorders from your life.