What Is Bruxism?

Many children and adults grind their teeth unknowingly during their sleep. It can result in chipped broken and reduced teeth, loose teeth and receding gums. This article will tell you how to stop the teeth grinding and what vitamin and mineral deficiencies could be to blame.

Bruxism is simply grinding, knashing or clenching of the teeth. Many children and adults grind their teeth unknowingly during their sleep. It can result in chipped, broken and reduced teeth, loose teeth and receding gums. This article will tell you how to stop the teeth grinding and what vitamin and mineral deficiencies could be to blame.

Have you ever heard someone grinding their teeth in their sleep? This is sleep bruxism. You can shake the sleeping person, wake them up, open their mouth and reposition their jaw and they will still go back to grinding their teeth in a few minutes. People who grind or clench their teeth find that it is an involuntary action that they can't control easily. Some people even grind or clench their teeth during the day. Many people with bruxism are not aware they have a problem until someone points it out to them. The damage to the teeth often does not show up for several years after the habit starts.

Nobody knows exactly why some people have bruxism and others don't. It is most common in small children. And this may have some basis in the tooth losing process. When the problem is chronic and the permanent teeth are involved, a dentist will often make a rubber mouthpiece for the sufferer to wear in their sleep that prevents them from grinding their teeth. Many adults have bruxism too, but if the habit is broken in childhood the treatment will have much better success.



The damage done to the jaw and teeth of a person who has bruxism can affect the all aspects of their lives, the way the look, not to mention the damage done to the teeth. The grinding can be so chronic that their teeth can be ground down to stumps. The enamel will be ground off and the teeth will no longer be white, but yellow. With the enamel gone, germs and bacteria will be able to get into the teeth and they will start to decay leading to fillings, crowns and root canals. When a person grinds down their front teeth the upper and lower jaw get closer together which gives a haggard appearance to the face when the mouth is closed. The muscles on the side of the face will get enlarged due to all the clenching and tension, this creates the look of larger then normal jowls. Constant headaches are a very common problem with people who brux.

One of the possible causes of bruxism is thought to be sensitivity to heat or cold in some people. Other people have teeth that are out of alignment and need adjusting. TMJ or temporalmandibular joint pain can cause tooth grinding. Other causes can be a bad car accident resulting in whiplash, tumors in the skull, orthodontic treatment, arthritis, and even violin playing. But most often it is a vitamin deficiency that is causing bruxism. Taking calcium and pantothenic acid can prevent bruxism. Calcium is used in the muscles to stop involuntary movements. Pantothenic acid maintains muscle coordination. This is not medically proven, however.

Eating sugar within a few hours of sleep can make bruxism worse. Do not eat any sugar within 6 hours before bedtime. Eat a light protein snack instead. Soda and processed foods can deplete the teeth and of calcium and pantothenic acid avoid them.

People with bruxism have noticed that the more stress they have the worse it gets. It is important to take B vitamins to keep your stress levels down.

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