What Is Daytime Bruxism and Why You Should Worry About It
Daytime bruxism is the unconscious habit of clenching or grinding the teeth during the day. While bruxism (teeth grinding) mostly occurs at night, some people may experience teeth clenching and grinding during the daytime. Additionally, daytime teeth clenching is a common problem for both adults and children in the US. It can lead to tooth sensitivity, wear-off of the tooth enamel, and even TMD (temporomandibular disorder).
Bruxism has grown to be a major concern in the US since it affects everyone regardless of age, ethnicity or gender. According to the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, bruxism is more common in females than in males. In terms of age, daytime bruxism is more common in children and adolescents compared to adults.
Dental and health concerns
Bruxism is proven to be a major health and dental concern by dentists and physicians. Here are certain problems you might experience when diagnosed with daytime bruxism:
- Tooth damage
Bruxism will lead to the chipping and cracking of teeth enamel which is caused by the continuous stress on your teeth over a long time. Moreover, it can also lead to tooth sensitivity and root canal infection.
- Gum recession
Tooth damage due to continuous stress is not the only dental concern caused by bruxism. Grinding and clenching of the teeth can also lead to gum recession. Receding of the gums will make the teeth more prone to tooth decay and other major health problems.
- Damaged dental restorations
It is very difficult to repair or restore teeth involved with bruxism. Dental restorations are needed to restore attrition, breaks, fractures, and chips in our teeth.
- Temporomandibular disorder
Another concern that involves bruxism is TMD (temporomandibular disorders). Symptoms like clicking or popping jaws are the most common signs that may ultimately lead to earaches, jaw pain, and locked jaws.
Causes of daytime bruxism
Daytime bruxism may develop due to different physical or environmental factors. It could either be brought by:
- Alcohol or smoking
A lot of researchers have shown that consumption of alcoholic substances and smoking are directly associated with bruxism. If you smoke or drink excessively then you are twice as likely to experience bruxism as research shows.
- Teeth growth
Teeth growth is a major cause of bruxism in children. MedicalNewsToday stated that around 40% of kids in the US are diagnosed with bruxism while their teeth are growing. Fortunately, the problem can be solved on its own since children’s teeth get replaced normally and their jaws grow quickly as they age.
- Poor teeth alignment
When you have crooked teeth or an uneven bite, your joints and jaw might experience pain and pressure. This is called TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint disorder. This disorder affects the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and jaw joints. The irritation, pressure, or pain will lead to jaw spasms and teeth grinding.
Stress is a major cause of daytime bruxism. Stress is either an emotional, physical, or chemical factor that leads to mental or bodily tension. Bruxism might be triggered by anger, frustration, or anxiety due to muscle tension in the jaws and joints. Bruxism is said to be a coping mechanism for stress and can be seen through consistent clenching of the jaw.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for bruxism as of today. However, there are steps to relieving or treating it. Treatments from your physician or dentist can help you lessen constant headaches caused by jaw clenching and potential damage to your tooth enamel as well.
Fixing a fractured tooth would involve fillings, inlays, or crowns while receding gum lines could be treated via grafting procedures (adding density and volume to the jaw and to where bone loss has occurred). For temporomandibular disorders, surgery or cortisone injections are applied to reduce pain and inflammation in the temporomandibular joints.
Using a mouth guard can also come in handy. An effective method to combat teeth clenching and grinding is by using a mouth guard. The mouth guard serves as a protective layer between your lower and upper teeth which prevents further damage to your teeth and jaw.
Find out what makes your teeth clench. Consult a doctor or a dentist to discuss your concerns about bruxism. It would be best if you schedule a checkup to determine the condition of your teeth, muscles, and tissues.
You can also try out custom-made mouth guards that are more effective than one-size-fits-all mouth guards. Custom-made mouth guards from ClearClub are the perfect fit for your teeth. ClearClub's custom mouth guards are engineered to offer you durability and optimum protection without interfering with your breathability. Grab yours today and say goodbye to daytime bruxism!