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Bruxism Symptoms

How to Accurately Recognize Symptoms of Bruxism

Signs of bruxism help in diagnosing teeth grinding at night. Hence, this HealthHearty article is an attempt to make you aware about the symptoms of this problem and help you identify its causes.
Dr. Sumaiya Khan
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Bruxism is a condition in which, a person has a tendency to constantly rub or grind his upper and lower teeth. This grinding of the teeth in sleep can have various reasons, like, stress, anxiety, presence of ill-fitting crowns and high fillings, neurological and muscular problems, etc. However, there are certain symptoms, which can enhance the diagnosis of the condition. Hence, given below are the various symptoms of teeth grinding, which will help in identifying the condition at the earliest.
Damage to the Teeth
One of the most commonly seen symptoms is the severe damage done to the teeth. This damage is often physical in nature. The occlusal surface of the teeth wears out, which is known as attrition, wherein the grooves on the surface of the teeth get flattened due to constant rubbing of the teeth. It eventually leads to wearing of the enamel of the teeth and exposure of dentin. Posterior teeth, i.e., the molars, are the most commonly affected teeth by the activity of grinding. This leads to sensitive teeth symptoms, which can include sensitivity to hot and cold food. In severe cases, where the symptoms are ignored for long, there may even be fractured fillings or broken dental crowns in the oral cavity.
Muscular Symptoms
Due to constant clenching of teeth at night, the person may often complain about feeling tired in the morning. One of the symptoms of this teeth problem also include, complaining of muscle soreness in the facial region along with jaw pain. The pain may specially be concentrated near the temporomandibular joint, due to which the patient may have pain in the preauricular region, i.e., the region just in front of the ears. This pain may even be radiating in nature, due to which the patient may feel pain in other parts of the face. The person may also complain about a severe headache in the morning.
Other Symptoms
Other symptoms of bruxism include those that are a direct or indirect result of clenching teeth. Due to the inadvertent clenching of the teeth, the other structures in the oral cavity may also get affected. So there may be cheek biting, which could lead to appearance of tissue tags on the inner surface of the cheek and it may become painful. There may also be indentations along the border of the tongue, which could lead to pain and swelling. The person sleeping next to you, may also be able to hear grinding and clenching sounds at night while you're asleep. Due to constant clenching, the person's sleep can easily be disrupted, leading to insomnia. This could also lead to anxiety, depression, irritability, loss of appetite, and other eating disorders if left untreated for long.
The treatment for bruxism includes, addressing the root cause of the problem, in the first place. If the condition is due to the presence of a dental abnormality, like a high filling or crown, then the person will need to visit the dentist and get the filling redone and the crown resized. However, if the condition is neurological in nature, then the person will need to use a mouth guard for better relief. In the end, it is important to be on the lookout for a cure and address the symptoms at the earliest. This is because if bruxism is left unattended, it can have dire consequences on the dental and overall health of the person. The wearing off, of the teeth may reach a point of no return and restoring them may be nearly impossible.