What is Bruxism? Consequences and Treatment


Bruxism is a repetitive movement disorder frequently encountered in adult and youth populations. It is primarily characterized by abnormal teeth gnashing or jaw clenching. It oftentimes stems from severe stress or underlying anxiety.

Bruxism can be symptomless, even though most patients wind up suffering from face pain and migraines. Obviously, this illness can also cause major harm to the teeth. Approximately 44% of the individuals who are prone to gritting teeth and clenching their jaws are oblivious to the fact. The involuntary movements oftentimes occur during nighttime (sleep bruxism) and/or while trying to focus on something or in nerve-racking situations.

Main Symptoms of Bruxism

Take a quick look at the list of possible symptoms:

  • Worn teeth. This could lead to hyper-sensitivity and even loss of teeth; Interrupted sleep;
  • Pain, locking, and stiffness in one or both hinge joints of your jaw;
  • Headaches;
  • Face pain;
  • Ear pain;
  • Cracked teeth.

Face pain and migraines typically vanish altogether or subdue once you stop gnashing teeth during nighttime or waking hours. Damage to teeth typically only occurs in bad cases and might require swift action.

Main Causes of Bruxism

Medical science isn’t entirely sure what causes bruxism, but the most common explanation is that it happens due to an amalgamation of various physical and mental factors, along with genetics.

Awake bruxism might be caused by unease, stress, annoyance or tension. It might also be a defense mechanism or a simple habit. Nocturnal bruxism might be nothing more than chewing activity linked to interruptions of sleep.

Risk Factors

These factors raise your chance of having bruxism:

  • Family history (FHx). Grinding teeth in sleep frequently runs in families. If you suffer from it, it’s highly likely that other family members might have experienced it in the past.
  • Personality type. Being generally assertive, determined or overactive can and will raise your chance of encountering this illness.
  • Age. Bruxism/teeth grinding is widespread in young kids, but it almost always goes away later in life.
  • Stress. Heightened levels of anxiety/stress are among the biggest causes of bruxism. Naturally, the same goes for anger and frustration.
  • Other illnesses. Bruxism is commonly linked to various sicknesses, namely Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, gastric reflux disease, seizure disorder, nightmares, sleep apnoea, and attention-deficit disorder.
  • Medicines and other substances. Bruxism might be a rarely-encountered side-effect of some medicines for mental health, including certain antidepressants. Smoking tobacco, consuming caffeine-heavy drinks or alcohol, or using psychopharmaceuticals might amplify the risk of developing this illness.


The following are the negative effects of bruxism:

Bruxism Treatment

In certain instances, treatment is not obligatory. Many kids grow past this illness with no treatment, and most grown-ups don't grind/clench their teeth hard enough to necessitate therapy. Nevertheless, if the issue is serious, treatment methods include dental work, therapies, and drugs to help avoid dental trauma and get rid of jaw pain.

Consult your orthodontist to figure out which bruxism treatment is a better match.

Dental Treatments

Even though this type of bruxism cure might prevent or correct the damage, it will, most likely, not stop the illness itself:

  • Bite planes and gumguards. They are meant to prevent tooth attrition by keeping your teeth separated. A well-suited gumguard might be one of the best remedies for clenching jaw at night.
  • Orthodontic correction. In worse cases when dental damage has led to hypersensitivity or difficulties with chewing—dentist might need to restructure the biting surfaces of the teeth or install dental crowns to undo the damage.

Additional Approaches

These methods might help cure bruxism:

  • Stress or anxiety relief. In case the sickness stems from stress, you might be able to thwart it by mastering stress/anxiety relief techniques, including meditation.
  • Behavioral change. After you learn that you’re suffering from bruxism, you might be able to “fix” it by practicing appropriate mouth/jaw positioning.
  • Bio feedback. In case you’re facing difficulties when it comes to altering your habits, you might want to undergo bio feedback training. It will teach you how to regulate and micro-manage muscular activity.


On the whole, drugs are somewhat ineffective when it comes to treating this illness, and more in-depth research is required to ascertain their efficiency. Examples of drugs that might help include:

  • Botox injections. If the patient doesn’t respond to other forms of treatment, injections of BTX might be used to help cure bruxism.
  • Anxiety or stress drugs. Temporary usage of anti-depressants or anxiety pharmaceuticals might be brought up. They’ll help manage stress and other mental issues.
  • Muscle relaxers. Certain patients might benefit from taking this type of drug before going to sleep.

We hope that our information will help you to detect and get rid of the problem. And never hesitate to get a consultation from your dentist NYC to make your life hasslefree.

Article Approved by:

Divya Bhandari Hygienist, RDH