Teeth Grinding or Clenching, is the daily grind causing you to do the same?
Take the daily grind off your mind -
In the past few months, our office has supplied more "night guards" to our patients than we have in the history of being in our office. I decided to write an article about this due to the increase we've seen in patients suffering from daily grinding, clinically referred to as "bruxism".
Simply defined, Bruxism is the act of consciously or unconsciously clenching your teeth during the day or while you sleep. Bruxism is considered a medical and dental problem because it affects both the teeth and all of the structure near it, including the jaw and the head. Although it is not a major health issue, it can bring about problems like headaches, jaw pane, face problems, sensitivity, broken or missing teeth, and broken restorations such as fillings, crowns.
What are the symptoms?
Teeth grinding generally happen during sleep, so most poeple aren't aware of it, unless their partner notices they are grinding.
- Intense clenching of the teeth enough during the day or night
- Flattened, worn down, and chipped teeth.
- Worn teeth enamels
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain and tightness in the jaws and its muscles, specifically in the morning.
- Facial Pains
- Damaged cheek tissues
What is the cause?
Teeth grinding or bruxism, is not just a habit. In fact, it is a condition that is currently being addressed in today's medicine. It is believed that bruxism is caused by a number of factors. Here are five examples of the common causes of teeth grinding.
- Stress, the most common reason
- Frustration and suppressed anger, a natural reaction to clench when angry or frustrated.
- Malocclusion, when there's improper alignment, the teeth involuntarily grind against each other to try and make contact.
- Growth development of the teeth and jaws, most common in kids under 7 years old, the actual growing of the teeth causes itchiness in the gum area causing them to grind their teeth.
- A complication of another disease, there are studies showing that bruxism can be caused by another illneses, such as Parkinson's disease or Huntington disease.
- Drugs and medications, several studies are being conducted to check whether certain drugs used to treat depression could be the causes of bruxism
What can I do about it?
If you believe you have the symptoms, or your partner has warned you that you are grinding at night, don't ignore it. A diagnosis is usually determined by checking the teeth first and asking a series of questions to help formulate an assumption as to why you are grinding in the first place.
It is, "Tax Season", that's enough to stress anyone out, but if stress is to blame, a few stress management routines such as meditation and exercise can help with total body relaxation, a warm bath and a cup of milk before bed should do the trick. For kids, try to ease out their fears and tensions by talking to them or reading their favorite book before bed time.
Since the dentist is the first line of experts you consult in cases of bruxism, a mouth guard may be prescribed to be worn at night. There are many over-the-counter mouth guards, or a custom one can be made just for you. Read my other hub on information to help you find, evaluate and choose the right dental office for you.
Thank you for reading, wishing you a stress free lifestyle!