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Dentists define bruxism as the habit of clenching and grinding the teeth. The signs of the said condition can be easily spotted; however, the reasons why people suffer from bruxism are somewhat a mystery.

Compared to adults, children are more likely to experience bruxism. But they usually grow out of it once they lose all of their primary teeth. Unfortunately, adult sufferers could be unaware that they already have the condition unless their bed partner alerts them.

Source: Bruxism (teeth grinding) – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

You might be wondering about what is happening to the teeth once bruxism starts to creep in. Well, imagine the upper and lower teeth striking each other sideways. Sometimes, they could be pressing each other very tightly. Did you know that the force applied when one clench their teeth is greater than the force exerted during chewing? While teeth grinding may seem very similar to clenching, the latter may occur even if one is completely conscious and awake.

Several studies and researches asserted that bruxism is linked with both orthodontic issues and sleep apnea. Before, many bruxism sufferers sought the help of the orthodontist with the aim of treating the condition. However, there is no known evidence to prove that the claims are true.

Stress is commonly associated with bruxism that takes place during the day. Many believe that stress management and other therapeutic engagements could effectively cancel out daytime clenching. In some cases, those who have the condition tend to change their lifestyle just to overcome it.

On the other hand, when bruxism happens on nighttime, dealing with it is much challenging. The dental treatment we at Gardner & Swanner can recommend is the use of a Nightguard – a customized oral device made of either rubber or plastic designed to protect the wearer’s teeth from the wear and tear brought by bruxism.

Source: Bruxism | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Red Flags of Bruxism

While the causes of bruxism may still be unclear, its symptoms are very much transparent. Here are its warning signs:

  • Morning Headaches
  • Difficulty in sleeping at night
  • Earache and Jaw pain

If you notice yourself experiencing these indications, do not hesitate to talk to us at Gardner & Swanner. We can discuss this matter as well as perform the appropriate treatment for your needs.


If you are suffering from bruxism, schedule your appointment with us at Gardner & Swanner for your Nightguard needs in Richmond, VA. Our dental office is located at 8133 Forest Hill Ave Suite 201, Richmond, VA 23235.

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