TMJ Guide

An INSIGHT Into Bruxism Causes

While solutions to the oral condition of Bruxism (medical term for teeth grinding) are many – depending on the nature of the condition itself, Bruxism causes are not as straight forward and indeed, not always correctly reported.


What is Bruxism ‘teeth grinding’?


The term Bruxism refers to the habit of teeth grinding and (or) teeth clenching at night during sleep times (or during daytime as well, in some cases).  The severity of the teeth grinding actions can vary widely with different people. For some Bruxism might exist without the person being consciously aware of its existence. For others Bruxism, especially sleep related teeth grinding, can be more chronic and may lead to serious damage to teeth and gums and cause other related health issues as well.


The cause of Bruxism is rarely a unanimous verdict. However most would agree that Bruxism is a multi causal condition. There can be several causes and factors that can trigger off teeth grinding; in many cases an unconscious habit of teeth grinding can end up as a serious condition causing damage to teeth – at the very least. In other instances, there are explicit physical (and physiological) conditions that can cause teeth grinding.


Acute and chronic cases of Bruxism often cause pain and intense damage to teeth and jaws.


Some common causes of Bruxism


The following are some of the more common causes of Bruxism as indicated by case studies on patients:


  • It is widely acknowledged in current medical theories that stress and anxiety are huge contributory factors to the habit of Bruxism teeth grinding
  • Mal alignment of teeth and other dental disorders can directly cause teeth grinding
  • Ear disorder or an ear infection can indirectly lead to teeth clenching or teeth grinding
  • Jaw joint disorder or upper spinal dysfunction in certain cases cause Bruxism
  • Arthritis can cause Bruxism symptoms
  • Whiplash injuries are also known to contribute to some of the Bruxism symptoms
  • Dietary factors and eating disorders can aggravate or cause teeth grinding
  • Sleeping postures and sleep habits
  • Sleep disorder or insomnia are contributory factors
  • Drug interactions and side effects of medications / chemicals cause Bruxism
  • Life style factors are serious underlying factors leading to bruxism
  • Childhood Bruxism is less understood but it is also outgrown naturally without any intervention

An examination by a specialist will be helpful in identifying the root causes of an individual’s Bruxism.

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