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What Are 3 Causes of Teeth Bruxism?

Posted on 6/3/2024 by Timothy H. Kindt DDS
patient with pained facial expression rubbing her jaw while in bedTeeth grinding or clenching is a common condition affecting many people nationwide. Also known as bruxism, it is characterized by repetitive grinding or clenching of teeth, which often happens involuntarily. While occasional teeth grinding may not cause significant harm, chronic bruxism can cause dental complications and discomfort. Here are three common causes of teeth bruxism to help you manage and treat the condition effectively.

Stress and Anxiety

The leading cause of teeth bruxism is arguably stress and anxiety, primarily mental and emotional stressors. People who suffer from enhanced anxiety may experience tense muscles, including those in the jaw, causing sustained muscle tension and, ultimately, teeth grinding or clenching. If you are at risk of experiencing high levels of stress in your daily life, dental professionals recommend relaxation techniques, counseling, or stress management strategies to alleviate these symptoms.

Malocclusion or Misaligned Teeth

Misalignment of teeth or malocclusions are other common causes of teeth bruxism. When teeth do not align with each other properly, it can cause an uneven distribution of bite forces. If you delay professional intervention, it can lead to excessive grinding or clenching. In addition, misalignment can strain the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), exacerbating bruxism symptoms and contributing to jaw pain and discomfort.

Sleep Disorders

Certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or snoring, can also contribute to teeth bruxism. Sleep apnea causes involuntary pauses in breathing during sleep, often accompanied by loud snoring and fragmented sleep patterns. If you suffer from sleep apnea, there is a chance you grind and clench your teeth as a response to airway obstruction or disruptions in breathing. It is advisable to consult a dental professional to treat underlying sleep disorders through airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or oral appliances. These effective treatments alleviate bruxism symptoms and improve sleep quality.

Teeth bruxism is a complex condition, and identifying the underlying causes is essential for effective treatment and management of symptoms. Schedule an appointment today with our experts to address underlying factors and implement appropriate interventions.

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