Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching. It is an involuntary condition that affects 1/3 people, and some people don’t even know they have it! In a lot of cases, it can be worse whilst the sufferer is sleeping, or sometimes whilst concentrating or feeling stressed.
Bruxism can be caused by many different factors including:
Stress and/or anxiety | Smoking | Drinking alcohol | Sleep disorders | Medications | Caffeinated drinks | Drug use
Sufferers of bruxism may find they suffer from symptoms such as facial pain, particularly around the jaw muscles, earache or headaches, and in extreme cases worn down/broken teeth or fillings that can cause sensitivity.
Yes! If you think you may be suffering from bruxism the first stop is to book a check-up with your Dentist, who will be able to check for signs of grinding. Depending on the possible causes, your bruxism can be treated with a night guard to protect from damage, muscle relaxation and practising good sleep hygiene. If you believe your bruxism is linked to stress, it is best to see your GP who can recommend the best treatment for you.