Bruxism is a condition in which you clean, gnash, or grind your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may grind/clench your teeth during sleep (sleep bruxism) or unconsciously clench them when you’re awake (awake bruxism).
Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who grind/clench their teeth during sleep have a higher chance of suffering from other sleep disorders like sleep apnea (pauses in breathing) and snoring.
While mild bruxism may not require treatment, bruxism in some people can be frequent and severe enough to cause tooth damage, headaches, jaw disorders, and other issues.
Since you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications build-up, you should know the myths and facts of bruxism and seek routine dental care. Of course, you may have already heard or read several myths about bruxism that are either partially correct or completely false. So, we’re here to debunk them all.
Here’s a quick rundown of common bruxism myths and facts:
Grinding your teeth at night isn’t a big deal
Grinding teeth at night is so common that it’s sometimes perceived as normal.
However, continuous bruxism can lead to numerous issues to your jaws and teeth if not addressed on time, like jaw pain, enamel erosion, tooth breakage, and more. If you think you might have bruxism, look out for the signs, and don’t wait to consult your dentist.
Bruxism goes hand in hand with jaw pain and chronic headaches
Many people believe that jaw pain and headaches are the destiny of everyone who suffers from teeth grinding. While these are typically signs of teeth grinding, it doesn’t mean that having bruxism translates to never-ending pain. While many patients experience jaw pain and headaches, a decent number of people live without them.
Additionally, both are just symptoms — and determining the root cause and the right therapy will make them go away.
Mouthguards will surely stop teeth grinding
Most people believe that mouthguards are the solution to teeth grinding.
While mouthguards are designed to reduce the pressure on the jaw and safeguard teeth from additional damage, they don’t tackle the underlying cause but rather just help relieve the symptoms.
If you’re advised to wear a mouthguard, always choose a custom-made one from Clear Comfort Night Guards. Ready-made mouthguards may lead to more oral health issues and even more discomfort, as they’re not made to fit your jaw.
Once developed, teeth grinding lasts for a lifetime
Some people think that once a grinder is always a grinder.
However, we have some good news. Firstly, some children with bruxism stop it naturally. Secondly, there are several therapies for teeth grinding that differ based on the main cause of it. Let your dentist define the right treatment.
Only adults suffer from bruxism
This isn’t true. In fact, most people have their first bruxism experience during childhood. Some children start to grind their teeth as soon as their first teeth begin to appear, and while it’s true that the grinding stops afterward in some children, this isn’t always the case. If your child doesn’t stop grinding their teeth as their adult teeth come in, go to your dentist — they might recommend a custom night guard.
Botox treatment for bruxism is unsafe
Some popular myths about Botox are:
- Botox is addictive
- Botox is toxic
- Botox injections lead to a frozen face
- Botox injections are painful
These myths seek to drive one point: Botox is dangerous. Consequently, most people are afraid of getting Botox, even when it might offer the exact solution they’re looking for. Yet it would require a dose of over a hundred times the average dose for Botox to be toxic. In addition, Botox has been approved by FDA for treating an array of conditions for more than two decades. Botox has a huge history of safety, and only in rare cases has it caused severe side effects. That said, it’s always recommended that you work with a qualified doctor when getting Botox injections. Many Botox horror stories you find online can be attributed to back-alley injectors who aren’t qualified to inject Botox in anyone.
Teeth grinding can lead to tooth decay if left untreated
Some people are doubtful about the chance of untreated bruxism causing tooth decay.
Is tooth decay mainly caused by improper hygiene and eating the wrong foods? Well, yes, but not exactly. Continuous teeth grinding causes cracked teeth and enamel loss over time, leaving your teeth more susceptible to cavities.
Teeth grinding may cause dental implant failure
Bruxism affects both artificial and natural teeth. Dental restorations are designed to mimic your natural teeth in the best way possible. Bridges, crowns, and fillings can break if you have bruxism and don’t wear a mouthguard.
Teeth grinding may also compromise the success of expensive dental implant treatments. This is especially true for the preliminary healing period when the dental implant is supposed to fuse within the jawbone tissue. Bruxism may cause excessive pressure, which can hinder this process. But this doesn’t mean that grinders can’t have implants — they just need to follow their dentists’ recommendations.
Bad posture can negatively affect bruxism
Teeth grinding and bad posture; what could these two have in common? Well, according to some people, absolutely nothing.
However, any type of misalignment in the body negatively influences the body parts connected to it. Poor posture causes a misaligned neck and back, which eventually affects the connected temporomandibular joints. On the other hand, they’re the ones that connect your jaw to your skull’s temporal bones. This is how bad posture can lead to issues like mouth breathing, teeth grinding, and a misaligned jaw. So, next time you hunch your shoulders, think about your body’s interconnected system.
Botox injections can treat bruxism
Botox, or botulinum toxin, is usually perceived as strictly applicable to the beauty industry. Many people don’t think that Botox injections can be used to treat bruxism.
However, it’s one of the most inventive methods applied to alleviate clenching. A small amount is injected into the muscles responsible for moving the jaw.
Teeth grinding wears down teeth
Bruxism harms your teeth visually as well. Plus, it’s usually not until the teeth start wearing down visibly that people realize they have an issue.
Here’s a friendly reminder: don’t skip your quarterly dental checkups, and you’ll not have to wait for this.
Excessive stress can lead to bruxism
Can emotions also affect teeth grinding, or is it strictly a physical condition? One of the most popular myths is that bruxism has predominantly physical causes like sleep disorders, overbites, missing teeth, etc. However, emotions have a big role to play as well.
Stress and anxiety are common factors that contribute to teeth grinding, and most people recognize that.
Shop night teeth guard from Clear Comfort Night Guards and protect your teeth from bruxism-related damage
At Clear Comfort Night Guards, we develop custom-made night guards for varying levels of bruxism at a reasonable price. We offer custom soft, durable, ultra-durable, and ultra-thin night teeth guards made by skilled dental technicians. Visit our website now to order custom dental guards!