Bruxism is a word dental professionals use to describe teeth grinding. While daytime grinding does occur, brusixm also refers to nighttime tooth grinding. You may not be specifically aware when bruxism occurs if you are asleep. However, your dentist may notice the wear patterns on teeth. You may suffer the dental consequences of cracks in the tooth surface, which can lead to cavities or other issues. It can be easy to see how bruxism affects your teeth, but do you know it can affect other areas of your life as well?
Bruxism Affects Jaw Pain
It’s easy to see how spending a night with tight jaw muscles could result in a sore jaw during the day. A painful, tender or swollen jaw, and pain in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint area) can be related to bruxism. Consultation with a dental professional can help pinpoint the cause of these pains, and lead to solutions.
Bruxism Affects Head, Neck and Shoulder Comfort
Along with jaw pain, bruxism has been linked to neck, shoulder and headache pain that may seem to come from out of nowhere. Consistently awaking with the feeling of a stiff neck, for example, may be related to tooth grinding. In some cases, bruxism has caused referred pain that is felt as ear pain or an earache. Consistent headaches upon awakening can also be a sign of bruxism. A dentist can help diagnose and correct bruxism, which may alleviate these other symptoms as well.
Bruxism Affects Your Sleep Partner
While the person who doing the teeth grinding may sleep (perhaps somewhat restlessly) through the night, sleep partners are often affected. Bruxism can be quite loud and disturbing to loved ones. Sounds have been likened to grinding, growling and gnashing sounds. Others report sounds like rocks or marbles rubbing together. In some cases the sounds of bruxism can be heard throughout a room.