Do You Have Bruxism?

Normal chewing applies forces of around 25 to 50 pounds on the back molar teeth. clenching and grinding have been shown to create forces as high as 250 pounds during sleep. During normal chewing the upper and lower teeth may come into contact only for 25-30 minutes in a 12 hour day. During sleep bruxism the teeth may be in contact for as much as 40 minutes per hour of sleep!

Do you have Bruxism???

  • Examine your teeth in the mirror, look for any worn lower or upper teeth.
  • Run your tongue over the upper and lower teeth to check for sharp edges and rough spots.
  • Do you regularly wake up with headaches on the sides, the front, and/ or back of the head?
  • Do you have chronic neck stiffness and or pain in the neck when you wake up?
  • Do you have tooth pain that comes and goes?
  • Has a family member heard you grinding in your sleep?
  • Do you have difficulty chewing foods?
  • Do your gums bleed?
  • Can you wiggle any of your teeth with our fingers or tongue?
  • Do you clench during the day?
  • Do you have jaw pain?
  • Are you under a lot of stress?

Medications For Bruxism

It is believed that bruxism is mainly a stress response, therefore treatment has been focused on relieving the anxiety through the use of stress management and behavior modification. Mouth guards are also commonly used. Current research indicates that some medications are effective in reducing teeth grinding. These medications include:

  • BuSpar
  • Inderal
  • Neurontin
  • Amitriptyline

It is important to note that there are some medications that can be directly attributed to bruxism. These medications include:

  • Effexor
  • Haldol
  • Luvox
  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft

Do you have bruxism?  What has helped you?

About The Author

Candy

Candy is the community manager for TMJ Hope. She is the official ‘take care of people’ person, content writer, and Stacy wrangler (the hardest job so far!). As the parent of a child with TMJD, Candy has a unique perspective on the daily struggles of not just TMJD patients, but of their families and caregivers, too.

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