Bruxism: The Pandemic Is Making It Worse

Bruxism: The Pandemic Is Making It Worse

Bruxism is becoming a cause of concern for many people in this pandemic. It is high time to seek professional help to combat this teeth grinding matter.


Bruxism is an oral parafunctional habit seen in many people who may be unaware of it. It involves involuntary grinding of teeth and movement of the jaws, other than chewing. It can occur both during the day and while sleeping. An occasional occurrence is not too concerning, but it could be harmful to oral and sleep health if it becomes frequent.

What causes it

It may have a few contributing factors such as;



Crooked/missing teeth


Imbalance in brain neurotransmitters

Sleep apnea

How to identify bruxism

Since it happens unknowingly, people may never find out about it. However, you have to look out for some signs and symptoms. Do you often wake up with your jaw feeling sore and uncomfortable? Well, that may be sleep bruxism, and it damages your oral health and disturbs the sleep cycle.

Are you experiencing a dull headache that has become a nuisance? It may not be a bad idea to get it checked out by a doctor, especially if it is coupled with pain in the jaw or mouth.

Sometimes, a loved one sleeping next to you may be able to hear the teeth grinding at night, and that would indicate a need to see a dentist.

At the dentist

The doctor will take a thorough medical and dental history which would generate clues leading to a diagnosis. The doctor confirmed this inquiry from a detailed oral exam where the dentist looks for tooth wear and jaw tenderness. The patient has to visit a few times for a checkup before the doctor started the treatment.

How to treat it

Once identified, the doctor will move on to treatment which is based on the cause of bruxism. Most patients have to wear nightguards during sleep as it protects their teeth.

People who are living stressful lives have to seek therapy to regulate stress levels and anxiety.
A muscle relaxant, along with some exercise, could also help in relaxing the jaws. Recently, Botox has proven effective as a treatment for grinding, and a health professional can guide you better.
If sleep apnea is the cause, it should be treated first, and the rest will fall into place.

A few lifestyle changes can be a game-changer, including cutting down on alcohol and caffeine consumption. Avoid gum or anything other than food to reduce the habit of jaw clenching. Place your tongue between the teeth to train jaw muscles and prevent grinding.

The author is a contributing writer and Canadian correspondent at Dental News Pakistan and can be reached at