Friday, January 20, 2012

Bruxism (Tooth Grinding) Crystal Lake Dental Asociates


Severe bruxism

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth. The condition affects both children and adults.
Some people with bruxism unconsciously clench their teeth together during the day, often when they feel anxious or tense. This is different from tooth grinding or clenching that occurs at night, which is called sleep bruxism. Most children who are bruxers do so at night, while adults are either daytime or nighttime bruxers.
Bruxism may be mild and may not even require treatment. However, it can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems. Unfortunately, people with sleep bruxism usually aren't aware of the habit, so they aren't diagnosed with the condition until complications occur. That's why it's important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.

Bruxism on molars

Signs and symptoms of Bruxism

The signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:
  •  Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake your sleep partner
  •  Teeth that are worn down, flattened or chipped
  •  Worn tooth enamel, exposing the inside of your tooth
  •  Increased tooth sensitivity
  •  Jaw pain or tightness in your jaw muscles
  •  Earache — because of severe jaw muscle contractions, not a problem with your ear
  •  Headache
  •  Chronic facial pain
  •  Chewed tissue on the inside of your cheek

Causes of bruxism
Doctors don't completely understand the causes of bruxism. For daytime bruxism, it has been thought that abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion) may contribute to the problem, though this hasn't been confirmed in research studies. Sleep bruxism is believed to be related to changes that occur during sleep cycles in some individuals, and this is an active area of current research.
In adults, psychological factors seem to be associated with bruxism, including:
  • Anxiety, stress or tension
  • Suppressed anger or frustration
  • Aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type
In children, bruxism may be related to growth and development of the jaws and teeth. Some researchers think children brux because their top and bottom teeth don't fit together comfortably as they are erupting.  Others believe that children grind their teeth because of tension, anger, or as a response to pain from an earache or teething. While bruxism has been reported to occur in up to 30 percent of children, often in children under the age of 5, most children outgrow bruxism before they get their adult teeth.
In some cases, bruxism isn't caused by stress or dental problems. It can be a complication of another disorder, such as Huntington's disease or Parkinson's disease. It can also be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications including certain antidepressants.

Risk factors for Bruxism
These factors increase your risk of bruxism:
  • Stress. Increased anxiety or stress can lead to teeth grinding. So can anger and frustration.
  • Age. Bruxism is common in young children, but usually goes away by adolescence.

When to seek medical advice for Bruxism
Bruxism often goes unnoticed. See your dentist if you have worn teeth or pain in your jaw, face or ear. Also consult your dentist if your bed partner complains that you make a grinding noise while you sleep.
If you notice that your child is grinding his or her teeth — or has other signs or symptoms of this condition — be sure to mention it at your  next dental appointment.

Bite-plane to control bruxism

Your comments are welcome
Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about bruxism at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.


  1. Looks like it went well at his first dentist visit. Hooray!!
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  4. Oh man that first picture is a pretty bad case. I wonder what the dentist prescribed. I don't even know how you would begin to treat that. That case seems a little too far along to do much. That's why constant dental care is a good idea, so you don't get to that point.

  5. Bruxism can make eating, chewing more difficult. Their can be symptoms of Jaw pain or tightness in your jaw muscles. Our professional dentist treat while you sleep, Burlington with the help of sedation dentistry.

  6. Lots of people have this type of problems.
    thanks share this great information .
    i am very thankful to you .

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  7. I have read your blog. That is nice.

    With time there are many dental care solutions coming up in the best night guard for teeth clenching market all known to cure dental care problems in a very easy way. The best of dental care treatments which are all seen best Teeth Grinding Solution can be availed with this all new service provider. We are associated in this business for long time and help you provide quality solution.

  8. People with severe bruxism can break down teeth and damage dental fillings, grinding or clenching the teeth together can cause the outer layers of enamel to wear away, which may cause an increase in tooth sensitivity. Dental procedures from genuine dental can make your smile back again.


About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.