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Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a condition where you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. It can be mildly annoying, or severe.

Bruxism may need attention before permanent damage occurs. If you unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake, it’s known as, awake bruxism. If you clench or grind your teeth while you're asleep, this is known as sleep bruxism. Mild bruxism may not require treatment. But if you clench or grind your teeth for long, continuous periods, this can become serious and cause damage. Prolonged bruxism can cause tooth wear and breakage, and lead to disorders of the jaw and headaches.

Symptoms of teeth grinding

If your condition is mild, you may not be aware that you are grinding your teeth. It might be that a friend or family member notices it first. Or perhaps symptoms of bruxism are noticed by your dentist, during a routine appointment. Some signs and symptoms that you may have bruxism include:

  • Clenching or grinding your teeth, either awake or asleep
  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Flattened teeth or worn teeth and enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitive teeth
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • Pain or soreness in your jaw, neck, face or ears
  • Headaches
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Disrupted sleep

Causes of teeth grinding

There are a number of reasons bruxism can occur. It's sometimes caused by excess stress or anxiety. Heightened emotions such as anger, frustration or tension can also trigger it. Teeth grinding may also develop as a coping strategy during periods of concentration. If you have sleep bruxism, it is more likely to be caused by an abnormal bite, missing teeth, or crooked teeth. Or it might be due to a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea. There are some risk factors that may increase your chance of developing bruxism. These include:

  • Increased stress, anxiety or frustration
  • Age - bruxism is common in young children and generally lessens by adulthood
  • Personality type - being aggressive, competitive or hyperactive may increase your risk
  • Medications - it may be an uncommon side effect of some medications including some antidepressants
  • Family history - sleep bruxism often occurs in families
  • Other disorders - bruxism can be associated with some mental health and medical disorders including Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), epilepsy, night terrors, and sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnoea

Related treatments

Your dentist will examine your mouth carefully to diagnose the cause of your pain or condition. You may need one of these common treatments.

  • Filling
  • Root canal
  • TMJ
  • Teeth Extraction

Get prepared

When you book at one of our dental practices for a check-up or treatment, you want to get to the bottom of it quickly. That’s understandable. It’s useful to think ahead about what your dentist will need to know to diagnose and treat you.

Generally your dentist will ask you about your medical history and then thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, gums, jaw, tongue, throat, sinuses, ears, nose and neck. You may also need an x-ray, depending on what your dentist suspects might be the cause of your problem.

Your dentist will ask you some questions about your teeth and any pain you may have, such as:

  • Are you experiencing any pain?
  • How severe is the pain?
  • Where do you feel the pain?
  • What is your normal dental routine?
  • What is your diet like?
  • What is your lifestyle like?
  • Are you experiencing any extra stress?
  • Do you suffer from anxiety?

Think about your answers to these questions before your appointment. Being prepared can speed up the diagnosis.

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House No: 1-2-261/4-6,
Opposite Minerva Complex,
SD Road, Hyderabad,
Telangana - 500003

Phone : 040 - 27844043, 66339096

Very professional. All Dental Treatments are excellent [Sandeep Malhotra]. Experienced doctors and top class facilities[bhargav P]. Good treatment...good services in both twin cities with reasonable price...[shette dilu]