Medications that Cause Bruxism: Are You Taking One?

When we are prescribed with different medications or treatments that would require us to be exposed to different chemicals as a remedy, the first questions that we have in mind include, ‘what are the side effects of this medication?’ It is just normal and acceptable for us to know what the effects of these medicines are to our body because we are caring for our body and the reason we are taking a certain medication is so that we can fight any disease that will cause harm to our health and well-being.  So when you hear information about medications that can cause different adverse effects to the body, you suddenly get alarmed if this is the right medication for you to take. For instance, when it comes to the integrity and health of our teeth, do you know that there are medications that cause bruxism or teeth-grinding? Read on so you can figure out if you are taking one of these meds and know more about this medical and dental discovery.


What is bruxism?

Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Some may think  that this is normal, but it is actually a medical (and dental) condition. Intermittent teeth grinding, called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, that is why some people disregard it as a childhood habit. But when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.


What causes bruxism?

dental checkup for bruxismNot all people know this, but bruxism does not just happen when we are sleeping. Bruxism is essentially a sleep related condition , but there are also people who unconsciously grind their teeth while they are awake. This condition also cause damage to the integrity of your teeth, some more than just having sleep bruxism because those who takes this habit while awake will do it while sleeping as well.

Stress and anxiety may be the first reasons that doctors would identify as the main reasons why people unconsciously clench or grind their teeth. If you feel stressed, angry, or frustrated, chances of habitually and unconsciously gritting your teeth are high. There are people who also associate bruxism with sleep apnea, as sleep and respiratory condition that interrupts the body’s normal breathing during sleep.


Medications that cause bruxism

Now that you know the common causes of teeth grinding, you may be surprised that there are specific medication that cause bruxism. Research shows that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and a medication for ADHD may actually cause patients to involuntarily grind their teeth.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Antidepressants like citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine and sertraline are found to cause teeth grinding due to their effects in combating anxiety and depression.

Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Atomoxetine, venlafaxine, and duloxetine, if taken in combination with other SSRIs can cause bruxism as well. Atomoxetine, which is also an ADHD drug, is confirmed to cause involuntary movements and rigidness of the facial muscles called orofacial dystonia and dyskinesia.


If your are diagnosed to have anxiety and depression, discuss with your doctor all your concerns and this additional knowledge about medications the cause bruxism. They may give you advice and recommendations on how to prevent such unconscious teeth-damaging habit, like wearing nightguards while sleeping, exercising, getting a massage or other relaxation techniques, and many more.




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