What is Teeth grinding ?
Teeth grinding, medically called bruxism is an involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth that usually happens during sleep – common behavior and usually does not cause harm. But when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis it can cause damage to the teeth and also other health problems.
What are the causes Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding is usually caused by stress and anxiety. Some of the other causes for teeth grinding are breathing airway issues, jaw posture positions, an abnormal bite, missing or crooked teeth, dental work that has changed jaw position or tooth positions trauma, stress and anxiety, as well as emotional and developmental issues. It can also be caused by sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
In children, bruxism may sometimes be a response to earache or teething. However, this habit usually outgrows by teenage, as their teeth and jaws change and grow quickly.
Symptoms of teeth grinding and its effects
- Teeth grinding sounds while the person is asleep
- headache, jaw joint and/or ear pain
- aching teeth, face stiffness particularly just after waking up
- aching or stiffness in the jaws while chewing
- clenching the jaw when angry, anxious or concentrating
- temperature-sensitive teeth
- cracked or chipped tooth enamel
- tooth indentations on the tongue
- loose teeth.
Teeth Grinding Treatment
Depending on the factor that is causing the teeth grinding, you will be provided with a treatment. If the grinding occurs mostly at night, a sleep study might be suggested to find if any airway issue is the reason for the teeth grinding. If a poor airway is a contributing factor, then steps will have to be taken to treat the airway first and sometimes the teeth grinding will cease.
The dentist can fit a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.The other kinds of treatments that are usually used are Dietary changes, stress therapy, postural modifications, medications, tooth adjustments, injections, orthodontics, surgery. If stress is the reason the patient grinds their teeth, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be recommended. Some of the ways by which stress can be reduced are attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants.
Some more tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:
- Cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine and sodas.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Do not chew on anything that is not food, like pencils or pens.
- Do not allow your jaw muscles to get used to clenching, especially avoid chewing gum
- Train your mind not to grind or clench your teeth. If at all it happens during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
- Allow your jaw muscles to relax at night
Teeth grinding in children
Grinding of the baby teeth does not cause any big problems. Most children lose their teeth grinding habit after the permanent teeth come in. Nevertheless, teeth grinding can cause jaw pain, headaches and wear down the teeth. Some of the causes for teeth grinding in children are improperly aligned teeth or irregular contact between upper and lower teeth
Whether it is children or adults, LV dental Square provides treatment for teeth grinding by using mouth guards and treating sleep apnea. If you have been facing these issues, book an appointment with us.