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  • Dr. Lai

Symptoms of Bruxism

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth and can happen while you’re awake or asleep. Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth during sleep have a higher likelihood of other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, characterized by snoring and breathing pauses.

Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, some people have bruxism severe enough to lead to a variety of problems including cracked teeth, jaw pain, headaches, and more.

Because sleep bruxism affects you while you are asleep, most people don’t realize they have bruxism until complications develop. knowing the signs and symptoms of bruxism can be crucial.

Here are some potential symptoms of bruxism:

  • Headaches

  • Pain in your jaw, face, or neck

  • Tinnitus

  • Flat, cracked, or chipped teeth

  • Tight or locked jaw

  • Disrupted sleep

  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity

  • Damage on the inside of your cheek

  • Grinding noises loud enough to wake your sleep partner

In serious cases of bruxism, complications can include:

  • TMJ Disorder, a disorder in the joints located in front of your ears. Many times characterized by a clicking sound when you open or close your jaw

  • Tooth loss

  • Severe pain in the face or jaw

  • Gum recession

  • Damage to restoration or crowns

What can I do if I think I have bruxism?

If you think you have bruxism, there are steps you can take both clinically and at home to prevent further damage. If you already have one of the complications listed above, it is important to go to a dentist as soon as possible for the right treatment so the problem doesn’t worsen.

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