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Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism is a common dental problem due to involuntary clenching or grinding of teeth occurring during sleep. Though occasional teeth grinding is normal or severe, bruxism may be the reason for dental and health concerns. Knowing the causes, consequences, and available treatment options for teeth grinding is necessary for maintaining oral health and preventing further complications.

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Causes

  • Sleep Disorders:Certain conditions like sleep apnea may improve the risk of teeth grinding.
  • Age:Bruxism is very common in kids, though it is also there in adults.
  • Stress and anxiety:Stress, tension or anxiety can be the reason for your teeth grinding when you sleep.
  • Misaligned Teeth:Tooth alignment or bite irregularities can lead to bruxism as your teeth may not fit together properly.
  • Lifestyle Factors:Drinking lots of coffee, smoking and consuming alcohol may cause bruxism.
  • Medications:Certain medications like antidepressants will have bruxism as side effect.

Treatment

  • Mouthguards or Splints:Dentists provide customised mouthguards or splints to wear at the time of sleeping. It can lessen pressure on your jaw and protect the teeth.
  • Medications:There are cases when muscle relaxants or certain medications may be prescribed to lessen stress and anxiety.
  • Orthodontic method:Dealing with the problem of misaligned teeth or bite irregularities can reduce the trouble with bruxism.
  • Deal with stress:Some methods to deal with anxiety and stress level include proper counselling, relaxation exercises or some kind of therapy. It may lessen the problem of teeth grinding.
  •   Biofeedback:Biofeedback methods help individuals become aware of their grinding habits and learn to control them.

Consequences

  • Disturbance in Sleep: Teeth grinding can disrupt your sleeping patterns for the affected individual and their sleep partner.
  • Jaw ache: Bruxism can cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, leading to jaw pain, headache and facial discomfort.
  • Earache: The pressure from grinding can lead to radiation in the ears, causing extreme level of discomfort.
  • Dental damage: Grinding can be the reason for chipping, fractures and tooth wear, causing sensitivity and extreme pain.

Prevention

  • Manage stress level and anxiety with stress-reduction strategies and some relaxation methods.
  • Teeth clenching or grinding during waking hours and relaxing jaws.
  • Maintain good sleep hygiene practices.
  • Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol in excess
  • Take a humidifier for getting moist air in the bedroom.

Visit a dentist for extreme bruxism and find out the causes as well as suitable treatment for your case. 

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