Bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of your teeth, can be a big problem. Most grinding occurs at night, when you have no control over it.
You might not know that you do it, though there are symptoms. Regular grinding can harm your oral health, but there are things you can do to decrease the damage.
Causes Of Bruxism
Bruxism can be caused by any one of a number of different factors. Stress, especially work related, is a common contributor. It causes your muscles to tense up, including the ones in your jaw. Tight jaw muscles make you clench your teeth, and grinding often follows.
Other conditions that can cause grinding are a misaligned bite, crooked teeth or a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.
Effects of Bruxism
Bruxism can have a severe impact on your oral health. Grinding can wear down the enamel of your teeth, exposing the dentin below, which then leads to sensitivity. The force exerted on your teeth may also cause your teeth to fracture. Some people can even grind their teeth down to nubs.
Besides wearing down your teeth, bruxism can also cause severe jaw pain and TMD. It can also cause tooth loss.
What You Can Do
There is unfortunately no cure for bruxism, but there are things you can do to decrease the amount of damage. Many times, your dentist may fit you with a custom mouth guard. This can relieve the pressure and stop your teeth from grinding together.
You should avoid anything that could cause grinding, such as alcohol and chocolate. Stress relieving techniques, if you suffer from a lot of it, should be employed. This can be anything from breathing techniques to yoga. Exercise is also a good way to relieve stress. If you suffer from a sleep disorder, seek treatment.
If you notice jaw pain, chronic headaches or wear spots on your teeth, you may be suffering from bruxism. contact our office right away.