An Introduction to Teeth Grinding
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. On top of teeth grinding, it also involves jaw clenching. Symptoms of teeth grinding or bruxism include facial pain, aching jaw, and heightened teeth sensitivity.
How common is the condition?
Teeth grinding affects children and adults alike. However, the age group of 25-44 years old is the usually affected bunch. The case is becoming alarming, given that we are seeing 30% more cases of bruxism than we were 5 years ago. It could be due to the increasing work-related stress of the ever-competitive times.
Main Causes of Teeth Grinding
People tend to grind their teeth at night for either or both of these two main reasons:
- Stress: Especially for women, stress can lead to teeth grinding. As we sleep, the worries and concerns that we have (even if it’s only in our subconscious mind) lead to night-time grinding and clenching.
- Genetics: Genetics can also be another cause of teeth grinding. It’s one of the many traits that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Other factors of teeth grinding:
Bruxism can also be experienced by those who take or use excessive amounts of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. Cutting back on these may reduce the symptoms.
How do you know if you grind your teeth at night?
As briefly mentioned, there are physical symptoms associated with bruxism, like facial and jaw pain and teeth sensitivity. Furthermore, most people do not know that they grind their teeth at night until the dentist notices their tooth wear or their roommates complain about the noise they make. This is why it’s essential to do regular checkups, so problems like this can be addressed earlier before heavy damage is incurred by the teeth.
Is Bruxism connected to any other conditions?
There are certain links found between night teeth grinding and some forms of sleeping conditions, like sleep talking, hypnagogic, violent sleeping behaviors, and hallucinations during sleep.
How teeth grinding affects the general as well as oral health
Bruxism may cause headaches and earaches and also means that your quality of sleep is not as restful and sound as it should be. And we all know that a low-quality sleep, especially when done regularly, can affect the overall health and wellbeing.
What are the natural remedies?
If your problem is somewhat stress-related, you may maximize some relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga. These might help you relax better, especially at night. You may also get in touch with your general practitioner if you’re experiencing anxiety.
Can your dentist help?
Your dentist may recommend the use of a mouth guard. This is used to avoid wearing down the teeth. Your dentist can help you get a mouth guard that is custom-made for your teeth and mouth size. This might not eliminate the teeth grinding tendencies, but they can surely avoid causing damage to the teeth and prevent teeth sensitivity.
These are some of the main things you should know about teeth grinding. It may sound like a trivial condition, but if taken for granted, it surely can lead to more serious repercussions.