What Is Bruxism? 

Do you find yourself clenching your jaw when you are stressed or tense? Do you feel pressure or even pain in your jaw when you wake up? Chances are you are suffering from bruxism. 

While it might not seem like a big issue right now, over time, bruxism can affect your oral health. The constant clenching and grinding can wear your teeth and make them more prone to breakage and decay. 

In this article, we're going to help you understand what bruxism is, what causes it, and how you can deal with it. 

So, What Is Bruxism, and Why Do I Have It? 

Bruxism is a condition where you tend to clench and grind your teeth either when you're awake (known as awake bruxism) or when you're asleep (known as sleep bruxism.) 

If you tend to clench your teeth when you are awake, then most likely, this is an unconscious response to a stressful situation. It's your body's way of dealing with the tension you are feeling at the moment. You can try to control this behavior by becoming more aware of what's triggering you and looking for better, healthier coping mechanisms, such as breathing exercises. 

But, if you tend to clench your teeth at night when you are asleep, then your bruxism might be caused by a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or teeth misalignment. Stress and anxiety can also play a role in your sleep bruxism. 

Signs You May Have Bruxism 

Awake bruxism is quite easy to identify. But, if you clench and grind your teeth at night when you are not aware of this habit, it may be a bit harder to know you are doing it. Signs that you may have bruxism include:

  • Tense or tired jaw muscles
  • Teeth pain or sensitivity 
  • Worn-out or chipped teeth 
  • Jaw and face soreness
  • Headaches 
  • Interrupted sleep 

Why Is Bruxism Bad for Your Teeth ?

The constant clenching and grinding can wear out your enamel, making your teeth more sensitive and more exposed to bacteria and decay. This habit can also lead to tooth chips, cracks, and even fractures. In time, your teeth may become loose and even fall out. 

What Can You Do About It? 

First, determine if your bruxism is stress related and try to address the triggers. If not, then you should schedule an appointment with one of the dentists at Del Mar Dental Studio for a thorough investigation. We can determine if your poor bite is causing your bruxism, in which case we might recommend orthodontic treatment. If we're talking about a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, then we can help with that too

Another way to minimize the effects of bruxism is by wearing a nightguard to protect your teeth. 

Dr. Pizzi and the team at Del Mar Dental Studio have extensive knowledge and experience in this area and can help you. 

Just leave us a quick message online, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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