Do you grind your teeth at night? You’re not alone. Many people grind their teeth, some without even realizing it; most times, it is a sign of nervousness or just done out of habit.
Teeth grinding or bruxism can lead to several problems, including tooth wear, jaw pain, and headaches. Fortunately, there are ways to stop grinding your teeth.
This Mindarie-Quinns Dental article will clearly explain what bruxism is, the problems it costs, and the best ways to stop it.
What Is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?
Bruxism refers to the grinding of the teeth. It is also known as jaw clenching. Most people grind their teeth when they are nervous, while some people do it unconsciously. Bruxism can cause tooth wear, chipped teeth, and headaches, among other dental issues. It can also cause jaw and facial pain.
Bruxism can be triggered by various factors, including stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. According to estimates, bruxism affects between 5% and 10% of the population.
If you think that you experience bruxism, you should seek treatment from a dentist.
What Are The Causes of Bruxism?
There are many different causes of bruxism. Some of the common causes of teeth grinding include stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Stress is one of the most common causes of bruxism. When people are under stress, they may unconsciously grind their teeth. This can be a way of dealing with the stress that is being experienced.
Anxiety is another common cause of bruxism. Anxious people may grind their teeth to release the tension that is building up inside of them.
Sleep disorders are also a common cause of bruxism. People who have trouble sleeping may grind their teeth as a way of getting to sleep. This can be very harmful to the teeth and can lead to several dental problems.
Other causes of bruxism include misaligned teeth, a tooth infection, and a misaligned jaw.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of bruxism, it is important to see a dentist. The dentist can help determine the cause of the problem and provide treatment options.
Why is Teeth Grinding or Bruxism Harmful?
Some people experience fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth due to chronic teeth grinding. The constant grinding of teeth can wear them down to stumps. Partial dentures, bridges, dental crowns, root canals, implants, and even complete dentures may be required when these events occur.
Severe grinding can harm your teeth and cause tooth loss, but it can also affect your jaws, cause or worsen TMJ/TMD, and even alter the appearance of your face.
Bruxism can be very uncomfortable when done for so long that your teeth become stumps of bone.
Best Ways To Stop Teeth Grinding
The dentist/doctor can make you a custom mouth guard to prevent you from grinding your teeth while you sleep.
Some of the offered options include stress counselling, seeing a physical therapist, beginning an exercise program, or receiving a prescription for muscle relaxants.
If a sleeping disorder causes the grinding, treating it may help to reduce or eliminate the habit.
Other suggestions to help you stop grinding your teeth include:
- Caffeine-containing foods and beverages, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee, should be avoided or limited.
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. After drinking alcohol, grinding tends to become more intense.
- Avoid chewing on pencils, pens, or anything else that isn’t food.
- Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.
- Hold a warm cloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe at night to relax your jaw muscles.
When To Visit A Dentist About Bruxism?
If you’re experiencing pain in your mouth, jaw, or neck due to grinding your teeth, consult your doctor or dentist. Sleep bruxism can be harmful to your sleep or oral health, and seeing a dentist can help you avoid future severe issues that are serious.
A doctor or dentist can also tell if you grind your teeth while sleeping, such as if you have obstructive sleep apnoea or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which may necessitate additional testing or treatment.
Back to top: Best Ways To Stop Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)