Plenty of people all over the world suffer from the habit of grinding their teeth. Some individuals grind their teeth because they are stressed, some people grind their teeth as a coping mechanism, and some men and women grind their teeth in their sleep without realizing it.
Don’t Ignore Teeth Grinding
Grinding of the teeth, clenching of the jaw, or gnashing of the teeth is known as bruxism. Bruxism can occur consciously or unconsciously both during the day and at night. No matter when or why you grind your teeth, it can be detrimental to both your oral health and overall physical health.
Let’s talk about it.
Possible Causes of Teeth Grinding
Some reasons individuals might grind their teeth are:
- Caffeine consumption
- Sleep apnea
- Acid reflux
- Depression or anxiety
- Certain medications
Tooth Grinding Can Cause Serious Dental Problems
The consequences of tooth grinding can include:
- Tooth pain
- Jaw pain
- Loss of tooth enamel or worn down teeth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Broken braces or retainers due to excessive tooth grinding, often at nighttime
Sometimes it is difficult to know if you are grinding your teeth during the night. The main giveaways are if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above. One of the most frequent and effective ways to quit nighttime teeth grinding is to wear a mouthguard while you sleep.
While there are a variety of reasons for tooth grinding, they can all lead to the same dangerous consequences if left untreated. It’s to seek guidance from a dentist or orthodontist. You might have a dental abnormality that can trigger or exacerbate your grinding.
How Do You Treat Tooth Grinding?
Some teeth grinders can successfully overcome this impairment on their own. Most individuals, however, need professional help from a doctor or dentist.
Ways to treat tooth grinding include:
- Use a protective mouthguard, especially for nighttime tooth grinders
- Ask your dentist about a habit appliance (especially for children)
- Avoid caffeine in both food and drinks
- Learn to manage your stress, depression, anxiety, or hyperactivity
- Seek counseling
If you are unable to kick the habit of tooth grinding, it is smart to consult a professional. Dr. West at Boulder County Smiles is available for consultations about tooth grinding.
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