• Is Teeth Grinding Bad?

    How to tell if you are damaging yourself with teeth grinding?

    Teeth grinding is also called bruxism.

    If you experience of these complaints, you might be grinding your teeth-

    • a rhythmic contraction of the jaw muscles,
    • make a grinding sound at night,
    • have tight or painful jaw muscles,
    • you temporomandibular joint clicks,
    • you suffer from occasional swelling on the side of the jaw,
    • or notice damaged teeth, broken fillings or injured gums,

    What can I do if I grind my teeth?

    The solution for teeth grinding is to get a professionally made night guard that you wear when you are sleeping to prevent your teeth from scraping against each other.

    While you are asleep is when most teeth grinding occurs. Which is why a night guard is the most common way for your dentist to treat your condition.

    The way that teeth grinding tends to happen when you’re unconscious is one of the more frustrating parts of this condition.  It’s hard to stop doing something when you’re asleep and don’t even know you’re doing it.

    What causes teeth grinding?

    There are quite a few theories about what causes teeth grinding. Usually your dentist will ask you a lot of lifestyle related questions to find out what is the most likely cause for you.

    Some researchers say that teeth grinding is a habit; while others suggest that it is due to emotional states such as anxiety, frustration and anger.

    Teeth grinding can also be caused by a malocclusion, which is when the jaw doesn’t line up correctly and the body is simply trying to line the jaw and teeth up during sleep.

    Bruxism can also be a symptom of a rare disease of the nerves in the facial muscles.

    Other causes could be a side effect of some anti-depressive medications such as Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac. Some recreational drugs such as ecstasy and amphetamines have also been suspected of causing teeth grinding.

    Anxiety, smoking, drinking alcohol or coffee and sleep disorders are all believed to contribute to teeth grinding. Scientifically there isn’t hard evidence to support any single cause, even though 70% of people who clench and grind their teeth are shown to have significant lifestyle stress factors.

    Are there other symptoms of teeth grinding?

    Bruxism can begin at any age and can also be the cause of headaches.

    People who grind their teeth are three times more likely to suffer from headaches.

    The muscle tightness caused by the repetitive activity of teeth grinding can cause stiffness in the neck and shoulders. It has also been known to cause ear pain.

    The grinding causes teeth to suffer abnormal wear, which leads to fractures of the teeth and can lead to loss of teeth through extreme damage.

    If you are concerned about teeth grinding, let your dentist evaluate your situation and develop a personalised treatment plan, which may include making a teeth guard for wearing when sleeping.

    You may also want to think about some form of lifestyle behaviour changes to give yourself less stress and more relaxation.

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