Do your grind or clench your teeth while you sleep? You’re not alone. Most people suffer from bruxism during their lifetimes. For some it’s a passing phase, but for around 25% of the population, this involuntary reflex manifests regularly.
The teeth should be in contact during chewing and swallowing. However, frequent and excessive tooth contact can result in:
- Tooth sensitivity in the morning
- Pain and stiffness of the jaw
- Pain that spreads to the face
- A headache or fatigue upon waking up
- A limited ability to open the mouth
Bruxism can lead to abnormal tooth wear. It can also cause jaw clicking. Moreover, the tooth wear can make teeth more sensitive to cold and susceptible to fracture.
There are no known causes of bruxism. Many studies are looking into this question, and previously suggested explanations have already been discounted. While certain causes remain debatable, others appear to explain this phenomenon:
- Sleeping positions
- Periods of wakefulness during sleep
- Improper bites (malocclusion)
Detection of the condition enables us to identify the likely cause, select the appropriate treatment and refer the person to another specialist, if needed (neurologist, physiotherapist, sleep physician, etc.). Wearing a bite plate is the solution often recommended by dentists to protect teeth against bruxism.
Consult one of our professionals for advice on the solution that’s best for you.