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Bruxism, Its Effects and Treatments

Bruxism effects and treatments might not be something that you have considered. However, it concerns more people than you’d probably imagine. Moreover, many people that have this condition, don’t even know about it.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition that makes people unconsciously clench or grind their teeth (Mayo Clinic, 2017). As such, it can occur during the day during waking hours (awake bruxism). Also, it can come on at night when you are sleeping (sleep Bruxism). In this case, as the name suggests, Sleep bruxism is a sleep disorder. Those with this condition are also likely to suffer from other sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea (Mayo Clinic, 2017). 

Of course, you can leave mild cases of bruxism untreated. However, it can occur with a frequency or severity to cause other problems, including damaged teeth, headaches, or damaged teeth. Significantly, sleep bruxism is a common condition in children. We know this because this because parents regularly report symptoms in their children. However, Bruxism is less widespread in adults, at around 8-16% of the population (Lily Talakoub, 2019). This low reporting rate can be because people are unaware that they grind their teeth while sleeping (Suni, 2020). 

How Does Bruxism Affect People?

As well as the signs and symptoms listed below, Bruxism also has social consequences for those with this condition. Consequently, the visual signs of bruxism can lead to a lack of confidence in social settings. Signs and symptoms of bruxism vary and may include the following (Mansfield Dental, 2017):

  • Abraded teeth
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Damaged cheeks
  • Dislocated jaw
  • Enamel wearing away
  • Facial pain
  • Flattening of teeth through wear
  • Headaches
  • Locked jaw
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Tensing of face a jaw muscles
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) clicking or popping
  • Tongue indentations

How Can You Treat Bruxism?

People with Bruxism often have night-guards fitted, and they wear them when asleep. However, these devices are only a protective measure. However, they do not stop the grinding action (Cedars-Sinai, 2020), nor do they deal with the Bruxism itself.

As far as Bruxism treatments go, there are several approaches based on the patient’s specific symptoms and stressors. These approaches include the following:


Firstly, muscle relaxing medications can help relax the jaw muscle, and these can help with the condition. Conversely, you may cease other medications, such as antidepressants, as these can increase the risk of teeth grinding (Cedars-Sinai, 2020). However, not all antidepressants cause teeth grinding. Therefore, you may receive one of these to help with low confidence or depression suffered due to bruxism.


Next, injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) may help in cases of severe bruxism. Significantly, where other treatments have not been effective (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration not recognising the results. However, Botox trials on Bruxism patients showed significant pain reduction for people receiving a Botox injection (Lily Talakoub, 2019).

Counter Stimulation

Practitioners have used small electrical pulses and other stimuli to treat bruxism. They apply these stimuli using several procedures, including stimulating the lips, temporalis muscle, and masseter (Clark, 2020).

Finally, you should now be more aware of bruxism, its effects and treatments. However, if you have any other questions about bruxism and its treatment options, please free to contact us or your GP.


Cedars-Sinai. (2020, January 6). Teeth Grinding: Why You Do It and How to Fix It. Cedars. https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/teeth-grinding.html

Clark, D. G. (2020, March 2). 5 Ways to Treat Bruxism: USC’s Online Postgraduate Dentistry Courses. Online Dental Programs. https://ostrowon.usc.edu/2020/02/24/5-ways-to-treat-bruxism/.

Mansfield Dental. (2017, August 29). The Negative Effects Of Bruxism: Mansfield, TX. Mansfield Dental Associates. https://mansfielddental.com/2017/08/the-negative-effects-of-bruxism/

Mayo Clinic. (2017, August 10). Bruxism (teeth grinding). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095

Suni, E. (2020, October 1). Bruxism & Sleep – Sleep Disorders. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/teeth-grinding

Lily Talakoub, M. D. N. W. (2019, January 14). Treating the effects of bruxism with botulinum toxin. MDedge. https://www.mdedge.com/dermatology/article/173002/aesthetic-dermatology/treating-effects-bruxism-botulinum-toxin

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