Bruxism Causes

by Samantha on June 10, 2011

Teeth grinding, called bruxism, carries symptoms of grinding, clenching or gnashing your teeth. These actions are typically involuntary and occur during sleep. This is known as sleep bruxism. It usually happens without the knowledge of the people who have this condition, but anyone in hearing distance of them will hear the sound of teeth grinding together.

Bruxism is typically mild and won’t need any formal treatment. However, if the case is more severe, it can cause damage to the teeth, cause headaches and jaw pain. The severity of your symptoms is what determines whether or not you’ll need to have treatment and what sort of treatment that should be.

While there’s a lot known about the symptoms of bruxism and the treatment for it, there’s actually very little known about the true causes of it. There are some factors that definitely point to aggravating this condition. The top one seems to be any type of stress or anxiety.

When you’re extremely tense about something, it’s totally understandable that it would show itself while you’re sleeping. Rather than being relaxed as you sleep, you’ll be clenching your jaws, which displays how stressed you really are. Right along with the stress issue is frustration or repressed anger. These two things will also affect how you sleep and your anger can express itself by the tightness of clenching your jaws and grinding of your teeth together.

Another cause of teeth grinding is having an aggressive personality. This type of person typically has a problem relaxing even when they are asleep. The stronger parts of this personality can come out during sleep and cause the tense jaw clenching or teeth grinding.

Abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth can cause teeth grinding. It’s not quite clear why this would happen more during sleep rather than when awake, but it is clearly one of the things that will bring on bruxism. Many times, if the alignment is corrected, the bruxism will disappear.

Something as simple as a change in sleeping cycles seems to also bring on bouts of bruxism. It may have something to do with the body adjusting to the new sleeping cycle. For whatever reason, it’s been known to cause teeth to grind and jaws to clench.

Age seems to also have something to do with bruxism. Young children may develop it and keep it until they enter adolescence. At that point in time, it will go away and they may never have any more problems with it again.

Whatever the cause, or causes of teeth grinding, it’s more important that you know and recognize the symptoms brought on with it. If they become severe enough to start damaging your teeth and causing you physical discomfort, it’s time to see your dentist. This is where you’ll find out what you need to do to alleviate the discomfort and lessen the damage.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

nebu January 28, 2011 at 2:24 am

I would like to know if I can take supplements to lesson my teeth grinding at night because I wake while I’m doing it then I get locked jaw

Justin | Mazzastick August 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I’ve been wearing a nite-guard for at least 10 years now and I had to replace the first one because I bit it into pieces while sleeping. Yup, I am your typical type “A” personality, can’t relax.

Samantha August 10, 2011 at 4:03 am

HI Justin,

Do you have any tips to share with us on how to choose a bruxism night guard?

Thanks for the comment 🙂


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