The cause of bruxism varies according to the individual and there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. The most common reasons are :
- Anxiety or worry
- Aggressive personality
- Suppressed anger.
- People who are ‘type A’ personalities.
Wikipedia defines a type A personality as “individuals who can be described as impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about their status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation.They are often high achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about the smallest of delays. Because of these characteristics, Type A individuals are often described as “stress junkies.”"
- People who get easily frustrated about something are more inclined to become a bruxer.
- While there is no personality test that can prove whether or not a person is a bruxer, aspects of one of the most frequently used personality tests in mental health (the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) may show increased aggression, anxiety or frustration in an individual grinding teeth at night.
- Teeth clenching is associated with snoring and daytime sleepiness, perhaps due to a lack of solid, healthy sleep.
- It is also related to consuming too much caffeine
- Excessive alcohol consumption or Tobacco use
- Certain illicit drugs like MDMA (Ecstasy), amphetamines and cocaine.
- Even antidepressants like SSRIs can cause bruxism in susceptible individuals.
- In one study, it was reported that bruxism was associated with those workers who did shift work
- Those who have difficulties initiating sleep.
- Job dissatisfaction had a great deal to do with the onset of nocturnal teeth grinding.
- Some research has linked digestive problems with sleep Bruxism
- When it occurs during the day it is felt to be due in part to malocclusion of the teeth. This is a condition when all of the teeth don’t fit together properly and the malocclusion triggers a grinding response.
- Hypersensitivity of the dopamine receptors within the brain as a cause. This may be why Huntington’s chorea and Parkinson’s disease, also related to dopamine, have been linked to the onset of the condition.