How Do I Know If I Have Bruxism and Can It Be Serious?

While you may not recognize the word – bruxism -- It’s quite possible that you or someone you know suffers from bruxism, a common yet potentially debilitating condition that affects more than 60 million adults in the US alone.  Unfortunately, this statistic continues to rise; the symptoms are misunderstood and not necessarily associated with a clenching or grinding problem.  As a result, you may not realize that the symptoms you are experiencing, or someone that you know is suffering from the negative consequences of bruxism. 

While most of the time it tends to occur at night while sleeping, it can occur during waking hours--which begs the question, what exactly is bruxism?

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition that causes individuals to involuntarily and habitually grit, grind their teeth or clench the jaw with excessive force, usually at nighttime during sleep; but, it is also known to occur during the daytime as well.   Clenching and grinding of the teeth puts pressure on the muscles, tissues and other structures around the jaw.   It is a disorder that affects men and women, as well as every race and socio-economic level.     

Some of the obvious telltale signs that may be an indicator of bruxism are waking up with sore, or fatigued jaw muscles; or, waking up with a dull headache.  As well, you or your partner may experience the unsettling sound of enamel grinding against enamel—that can be so loud that it will wake you or your spouse or partner during sleep.

Even though the exact cause of bruxism is still not fully understood, most experts agree that stress is a trigger and teeth grinding is a subconscious attempt by the human body to decrease stress levels. In addition, genetics and other factors such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and certain medications can also play a role.

The effects of bruxism can potentially extend further to other parts of the body and pose serious oral health problems and other complications if left untreated; therefore, teeth grinding should not be ignored or taken for granted, but rather be treated with a more preventative approach. 

Painful Symptoms of Bruxism

But more often than not, you might not realize you suffer from bruxism until there are obvious symptoms, which are too painful to ignore.  Below are some examples that indicate bruxism:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Pain in the ear
  • Facial or Jaw pain
  • Chipped, fractured or damaged teeth

Long-Term consequences of Bruxism

Bruxism, if left untreated, can cause permanent damage to the teeth, which is why it is so important to understand the causes and symptoms of bruxism and treat accordingly in order to prevent further damage: 

  • Front teeth worn down so they are flat and even in length, as the teeth lose their natural contours.
  • Severe bruxing can cause breakdown of the tooth enamel, reducing teeth to stumps and exposing the dentin.
  • Loose teeth, caused by the back-and-forth rocking effect of bruxing.
  • Micro-cracks and broken fillings, which can eventually lead to nerve damage, tooth fracture, and potential tooth loss.
  • Gum pockets, which is the supporting tissue and bone around the tooth, are destroyed. This can lead to periodontal disease and ultimately possible tooth loss.
  • Potentially inflamed muscles in the TMJ area, and other potential issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

So what can be done? 

Addressing the issue of bruxism before it becomes a more serious issue is important to prevent any further tooth damage.   The use of a dental grind guard is an easy way to help reduce the amount of pressure and damage done if you suspect that you are grinding your teeth.

How a Dental Grind Guard Works

Dental grind guards are meant to prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming into contact with each other, thus protecting the tooth enamel from rubbing together, preventing the negative consequences created by bruxism.  Grind guards are removable and generally worn only when needed (i.e., at night or while sleeping).

Excessive clenching and grinding puts an incredible amount of pressure on the joints.  This chronic and constant bruxing can result in severe headaches, pain and discomfort in the face, jaw joint, neck and shoulders while at rest, or during common movements such as talking, chewing and yawning.  By wearing a dental grind guard, like the Ora-GUARD® Dental Grind Guard, it offers protection from the debilitating effects of teeth grinding, jaw clenching and bruxism.

The Ora-GUARD® Dental Grind Guard

While dental grind guards have proven to be an effective treatment for bruxism, not all dental grind guards are necessarily created equal. Ora-GUARD® is a different type of dental grind guard.  What sets it apart is its patented design—it starts by combining a soft, medical grade fit material for absorbing jaw clenching tension plus a hard surface bite plate wedge design.  This bite plate wedge design allows your teeth and jaws to slide naturally forward, protecting your teeth from the damaging effects of grinding and clenching, while at the same time releases tension on the TMJ muscle.

Designed by a dentist, Ora-GUARD provides bruxism sufferers an effective and economical over the counter solution for the treatment of bruxism that does not affect the body permanently since it’s non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical. Now that you are in the know about bruxism, make sure you that you pick up Ora GUARD® dental grind and find the relief you are looking for™.  

The Ora GUARD® dental grind guard was developed by Bite Tech, an innovation-driven oral health products company that manufactures and sells oral products to the dental channel and athletic mouthguards to sporting goods and mass retailers.

Bite Tech Inc. holds more than 45 patents and pending patents for its innovative, proprietary designs and technologies. Bruxism sufferers look to Bite Tech dental grind guards Ora-GUARD® for relief from teeth grinding and jaw pain while athletes in virtually all sports rely on athletic mouthguards manufactured by Bite Tech for protection and performance improvement on and off the field.