Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition that affects millions of people throughout the world. The occasional clenching and grinding of teeth due to nervousness, anxiousness, or any other reason, doesn’t cause any harm. However, the regular grinding and clenching of your teeth can cause severe damage to your oral health.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Most people grind their teeth as a direct reflex to stress, anxiety, and nervousness. This type of teeth grinding can occur in any situation at any time. However, bruxism typically occurs during sleep at night and is caused due to an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. Additionally, in many cases, bruxism is also caused by sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
How Can You Find Out if You Have Bruxism?
Bruxism typically occurs at night during sleep, which is why most people are completely unaware of their condition. While most people learn about their condition from their loved ones who hear the constant grinding of their teeth, there are some people who sleep alone that may never know about their condition. Fortunately, there are some signs that indicate bruxism such as waking up with a dull headache or sore jaw. In any case, if you suspect you’re grinding your teeth, you should consult your dentist.
Impact of Bruxism
Chronic bruxism can lead to the loosening and fracture of teeth that eventually causes tooth loss. Grinding your teeth can also wear them down. Besides tooth loss, chronic bruxism can also affect your jaw and cause temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
How to Reduce the Impact of Bruxism
If you’re suffering from bruxism, your dentist or doctor will suggest ways to preserve your condition. Since there are many factors that cause bruxism, there are both dental and general approaches that you may have to take to improve your condition.
If you are suffering bruxism, your dentist will recommend ways to preserve the health of your teeth. Even though these methods won’t stop the bruxism, they will help in the prevention of wear to your teeth.
Night guards are tailored to keep your teeth separate to avoid any damage caused due to grinding and clenching. They are typically made with hard acrylic or other soft materials that easily fit over your lower or upper teeth.
In certain serious cases where tooth wear has led to the inability to chew properly, your dentist will probably reshape the surface of your teeth or use crowns for damage repair.
Your doctor may suggest one or more of the following approaches to offer you relief from bruxism.
Stress or Anxiety Management
If you grind your teeth as a result of stress, you can prevent the problem by attempting to manage your anxiety and stress levels. Seeking help from a licensed counselor or therapist can be pretty helpful in this regard.
Once you find out about your condition, you might be able to change your behavior by practicing proper jaw and mouth positions. You can seek help from your dentist in this regard.
If you notice any signs of bruxism, you should pay a visit to your dentist. You can book an appointment at our clinic Grove Street Family Dentistry by calling us at (360) 659-3200.