According to the American Sleep Association, 10% of adults in the United States suffer from bruxism. If you have never heard of bruxism, the medical name itself may confuse you. Simply put, it means grinding or clenching teeth.
This situation is not just an occasional clench or temporary pressure-related clench. Patients with bruxism gnash their teeth while sleeping or awake. In the mildest case, bruxism may not affect the patient’s daily life or health. However, moderate to severe bruxism can cause headaches, jaw problems, enamel wear, facial pain, sleep disturbances, and tooth loss or damage.
Dentists and doctors do not know the cause of bruxism, but they can treat it. Treatment requires a professional (dentist or doctor) to confirm the diagnosis. If you think you may have bruxism, you need to be evaluated. In addition to looking for specific symptoms and signs, the dentist will also ask about risk factors. Look at the main factors that may increase the risk of bruxism.
Patients with family members suffering from this disease often also suffer from this disease themselves. Genetics is not just the cause of some medical conditions and health problems. Your parents, grandparents, and the rest of the family tree provide the cornerstone for who you are. From the colour of your eyes to whether you grind your teeth, genes provide a way to pass traits from generation to generation.
However, not all health-related problems are related to genes. With this in mind, the researchers tested the idea that bruxism is a genetic disease. A literature review published in the journal Oral Rehabilitation showed that after reviewing recent studies on bruxism and heredity, this condition does have a family inheritance.
What does this mean for you? If one or both of your parents are teeth grinders and bitters, you may also have this problem.
The side effects of prescription drugs go far beyond headaches, stomach problems and skin rashes. Some medications, mainly antidepressants, increase the risk of bruxism. It is well known that common antidepressants such as paroxetine, Zoloft and Prozac can cause bruxism in some patients.
Even if teeth clenching or grinding are related to the use of antidepressant drugs, if your doctor thinks these drugs are beneficial and have medical indications, this side effect should not affect your use of these drugs. Depression is a serious illness that requires treatment.
If you develop drug-related bruxism, your doctor and dentist can work together to come up with an acceptable plan to reduce your facial pain while still treating your depression symptoms.
In addition to prescription drugs, substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine can also increase (or worsen) the risk of bruxism.
This does not mean that the use of these substances will cause teeth to grind and clench. However, studies have pointed out that there is a correlation between the use of these substances and the movement of teeth.
Your mental state may cause you to gnash your teeth. Stress and anxiety are common risk factors that increase the likelihood of bruxism. Your mental state itself is not the cause of the grind. On the contrary, the way you deal with excessive stress may be the culprit in this situation.
In addition to stress and anxiety, anger and depression can also cause bruxism. Although anxious or angry mental states increase the risk of illness, the resulting teeth grinding and clenching are usually temporary problems. Learning how to deal with stress or eliminating stressors can also make bruxism go away.