Bruxism is a condition where sufferers either clench or grind their teeth. This common behavior reportedly affects roughly 10% of people and as many as 15% of children. The severity of bruxism varies from person to person but symptoms include: hypersensitive teeth, aching jaw muscles, headaches, tooth wear, and chipped or flattened teeth. Bruxism can occur while sleeping or awake. Nighttime grinding is harder to diagnose and is the more harmful of the two. The condition can be diagnosed by a professional but you can easily do it at home.
Symptoms like sensitive teeth, headaches, and sore jaw muscles could be caused by quite a few things so they aren’t always the most reliable signs by which to diagnose yourself. Physical damage and catching yourself in the act are more concrete. Many people are initially made aware of their bruxism when their sleeping partner notices grinding or clicking sounds.
What causes Bruxism?
The causes of bruxism are often unclear. There is still much debate in the medical community as to its primary causes. The most widely accepted explanation for bruxism has to do with stress and anxiety. While it is difficult to quantify causality with such a complex issue, it has been found that 70% of bruxism cases are a result of stress or anxiety. There seems to be a widespread belief that dental occlusion contributes in spite of little evidence to support this claim.
Does Heredity play a role?
There is a growing acceptance that heredity does in fact play a significant role in the development of bruxism. The article Bruxism and genetics: a review of the literature, published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, looked at studies done pertaining to the correlation between bruxism and heredity. The study reviewed 32 publications which were narrowed down to 10 that were deemed relevant. With the exception of one of the twin studies, all of the studies concluded that bruxism was partly genetically determined.
Although no specific genetic markers have been identified yet, 21-50% of sleep bruxism sufferers have a direct family member affected by the condition. We must not forget that correlation does not equal causation and it is virtually impossible to quantify heredities contribution to the probability of developing bruxism. There is still much we don’t understand about the causes of bruxism, but as of right now, the evidence points mainly to stress and heredity as the key sources. Everything considered, I think it is safe to conclude that heredity plays at least a partial role.
Other potential causes and risk factors include:
- Other disorders
- Sleep stage transitions
Everyone is familiar with the mental strains of stress but fewer recognize the physical impacts associated with stress. Like a lot mental health issues, stress can have serious implications for your body. Research has linked high levels of stress to: Insomnia or hypersomnia Fluctuations in appetite Decreased intimacy Heart attack and stroke High blood pressure Migraine headaches FatigueNight-time Grinding Most people [...]
The majority of what we identify as stress has to do with our mental health. The effects of stress on our mental well-being are some of the more distressing symptoms which are usually more difficult to cope with. Research has linked high levels of stress with: Depression Anxiety Anger issues Reduced productivity and satisfaction with work Decreased enjoyment in social activities Any [...]
Stress is an often overlooked aspect of life. Many people think the level of stress is just a fact of life that cannot be avoided. I am here to tell you that this is not the case. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. [...]
If you have ever struggled with night time grinding, I’m sure you’ve considered getting a night guard. There are a lot of factors that contribute to what night guard is right for you. People have different preferences and needs. Your research may have swayed you toward a custom dentist-made night guard, but you should consider [...]
What is Bruxism? Bruxism is an often misunderstood condition but simply put, it is an unconscious behavior where sufferers clench and grind their teeth. Bruxism can occur while awake or asleep. Bruxism is very common, afflicting roughly 8% of adults in the US. What Causes Bruxism? Bruxism can have many causes and it is often difficult to determine causality [...]
The SOVA Night Guard has been recommended by the Dental Advisor for two years in a row for best in product category. Some of the advantages that SOVA Night Guard offers are: Ultra-ThinCustom Comfort Fit in a matter of minutesRemoldableAllows for the natural flow of air and salivaBPA-Latex-Phthalate-PVC freeEconomical Alternative to a Custom Made Dental [...]
How do you create a company culture - the Million Dollar Question for many (and it should be all) entrepreneurs. Truth is, I have no idea. It just has to come from the inside. And here is why I think so.If you are the slightest bit interested in what is going on in the world, [...]
In 2008, the awareness of harmful chemicals and their potential health risks was at the top of headline news. BPA, phthalates and latex became a household topic that sent parents searching through their cupboards to get rid of household products containing the chemicals.What is BPA? Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common chemical found in plastics used [...]
The madness of March is behind us and spring is here (even if in name only). With that good news, we still find plenty of reasons to find stress in our daily lives; missed calls, unanswered emails, and the homemade treat you are supposed to supply for the office potluck. Needless to say, [...]