Many people grind their teeth. Occasional grinding can be from stress or anxiety. This type of teeth grinding, (bruxism), does not cause significant harm. However, when teeth grinding occurs regularly, (usually in the sleep) teeth can be permanently damaged and other oral health complications can arise.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Regular nightly grinding is usually caused by an abnormal bite, but can also be caused by sleep apnea.
What Problems Does Teeth Grinding Cause?
Chronic teeth grinding can cause the loosening, loss or fracture of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps. Treatments such as bridges, crowns, root canals and dental implants may be needed.
Do I Grind My Teeth?
Most people are unaware—at least at first—that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake is often the first sign. Many times, people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.
What to Do
If you believe that you may be grinding your teeth, make an appointment
to talk to your dentist. We will be able to examine your teeth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as the wear that shoes on the teeth and the soreness in your jaw. From there we will be able to develop the option that will work best for you.
How to Stop Tooth Grinding
After the diagnosis of tooth grinding, the dentist will fit you with a mouthguard to protect your teeth during sleep. Since tooth grinding is often caused by stress, you should seek ways you reduce your stress and anxiety, especially before bed. Counseling, cutting back on caffeine, exercise, physical therapy, and prescribed muscle relaxants can all contribute to a less stressful life and less teeth grinding. If you are concerned about grinding teeth, or suspect you have done damage because of bruxism, we encourage you to schedule your appointment
today. Treatment and prevention are available.