What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of teeth. Bruxism can lead to facial pain, tooth wear, bone loss, and a decline in sleep quality.
Are You Experiencing Nocturnal Bruxism Symptoms?
Bruxism often goes undetected as it may happen at night when you are asleep. It most often occurs in the early stages of sleep before deep sleep. Do you clench or grind your teeth at night? Find out with our Bruxism Checklist.
What Causes Bruxism?
Nearly 70% of Bruxism is caused by stress.
These habits and traits increase the chances of developing nocturnal bruxism.
Patients that smoke on a regular basis are twice as likely to develop nocturnal bruxism than your non-smoking patients. Similar to the causes of this condition, there really isn’t an answer as to why smoking cigarettes can lead to bruxism.
Just like cigarettes, the ingestion of drugs and alcohol also double a patient's chance of developing nocturnal bruxism. You may have the occasional patient that drinks a glass of wine or two before going to bed to help them sleep – but in reality, alcohol is known to break up sleeping patterns. If your patient sleeps poorly, this triggers their muscles to hyper-activate and the teeth to grind.
Sleep Disordered Breathing
As it was mentioned above, patients who sleep poorly are more likely to grind their teeth while they sleep than those who get a good night’s rest. If your patient is a snorer, or if their significant other is one, they are also twice as likely to exhibit nocturnal bruxism. Shallow breathing and/or snoring triggers their brain to respond which causes them to wake frequently during the night.
To most people, caffeine is considered a stimulant to help keep them energized during the day. What some people don’t know is that caffeine has a half-life of three to 12 hours after it’s consumed. Caffeine triggers muscle activity, which can cause frequent waking periods during the night that can contribute to nocturnal bruxism.
Excerpt from Article written by Dr. Martin Mendelson, D.D.S.