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What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake, or clench and grind them during sleep. If bruxism is mild, it can be managed and may not cause many issues.

However, if it’s more severe and frequent, it can lead to short term issues such as earache, stiffness/tightness in the shoulders, facial and jaw ache. Or long-term issues such as teeth sensitivity, damage to the teeth and jaw disorders, like temporomandibular joint disorder (known as TMD or TMJD).

Why does bruxism occur?

There are many factors which can lead to teeth grinding, and it’s often a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors. If patients suffer from an abnormal bite, where the teeth do not come together properly, or they have crooked or missing teeth, this can cause bruxism. Awake bruxism can be due to emotions such as stress and anxiety, tension, anger, or frustration. People who experience lifestyle stressors account for the majority of bruxism cases.

Sleep bruxism can also occur. This is when anxiety from work or at home can manifest itself subconsciously when the person is sleeping. This continued tooth grinding and jaw clenching wears away the enamel on the teeth and can lead to more permanent damage. Sleep bruxism can tend to be inherited from other family members.

Bruxism can also be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications. Similarly, people who smoke or drink excessively or take recreational drugs can develop bruxism. It can also be associated with some medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, sleep-related disorders, and ADHD.

What are the signs and symptoms of Bruxism/TMJD?

The signs and symptoms of bruxism/temporomandibular joint disorders can be as varied as the causes, but you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

How to stop bruxism?

There are several ways to get bruxism treatment. Lifestyle changes can help mild cases but in severe cases, joint surgery may be needed. Splints and mouth guards can be worn during the night to prevent grinding teeth in sleep. These are designed to keep teeth separated to avoid the damage caused by clenching and grinding.

A mouth guard, like the ones used by sports people, is a flexible rubber shield which covers the teeth to prevent grinding. Mouth splints are made from hard plastic and are specifically made to fit over you upper and lower teeth to stop grinding teeth at night. However, some individuals may require further treatments.

We can provide you with a Complimentary Bruxism Consultation to discuss the different options and suitability. We offer: –


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Brunswick Square Dental Practice is on the south side of beautiful Brunswick Place, facing west, which is at the top (north end) of Brunswick Square, just off the corner of Western Road, and a short walk through the Square from the seafront.

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