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Bruxism- Grinding in sleep


Dental damage may be similar in both types, but the symptoms of sleep bruxism tend to be worse on waking and improve during the course of the day, and the symptoms of awake bruxism may not be present at all on waking, and then worsen over the day. Awake bruxism is thought to have different causes from sleep bruxism, and is more common in females, whereas males and females are affected in equal proportions by sleep bruxism. Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.

Causes Of Bruxism


The causes is not always clear. In the dental profession the belief that bruxism and dental occlusion are causally related has been widespread. However there is little evidence to support this belief.



Sleep Disorders :

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Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth (brux) during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).


Stress, Anxiety & other Psychological Components:

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Mental disorders, anxiety, stress are significantly related to tooth grinding during sleep and it is found that nearly 70% of bruxism occurs as a result of stress or anxiety. Many physical sickness have psychological components that may influence a person’s vulnerability to illness as well as their ability to recover. Stress levels and personality characteristics are often considered as initiating factors for several diseases.

Genetic factors:



Some research says that genetic factors will also plays a vital role in causing bruxism, 21–50% of people with sleep bruxism have a direct family member who had sleep bruxism during childhood, suggesting that there are genetic factors involved


Symptoms Of Bruxism

Excessive tooth wear:


Results in advanced loss of tooth structure, which further accentuates loss of facial height and aging.



Tooth fractures:


When a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. However, you feel the sharp area with your tongue . Minor tooth fractures usually don’t cause pain, but if a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt. The nerve inside the tooth may be damaged.


Increased tooth sensitivity:


The sensitivity of the tooth increases when it is exposed to hot or cold beverages




Burning sensation:A burning sensation on the tongue  possibly related to a coexistent “tongue thrusting” para functional activity.

Comparison between sleep bruxism &  awake bruxism

                                                   Sleep Bruxism                         Awake Bruxism

Occurrence While asleep, mostly during periods of sleep arousal While awake
Time–intensity relationship Pain worst on waking, then slowly gets better Pain worsens throughout the day, may not be present on waking
Noises Commonly associated Rarely associated
Activity Clenching and grinding Usually clenching, occasionally clenching and grinding
Relationship with stress Unclear, little evidence of a relationship Stronger evidence for a relationship, but not conclusive
Prevalence (general population) 9.7–15.9% 22.1–31%
Gender distribution Equal gender distribution Mostly females
Heritability Some evidence Unclear
The causes of bruxism are not completely understood, but probably involve multiple factors.In the dental profession the belief that bruxism and dental occlusion are causally related has been widespread. However there is little evidence to support this belief.

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