General and Preventive Dentistry

Is teeth grinding a Problem?

Grinding teeth is a common activity which is done by many people from time to time. This teeth grinding, also called as bruxism in medical terms, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis, teeth can be damaged and lead to oral health complications.

Usually a person himself does not recognize the grinding of their own teeth. It is always your family members or parents who can hear the noise of teeth grinding or make you realize your habit.

Why do people grind their teeth?
Teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, but this usually occurs during sleep. It can also occur due to abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea may also be the cause of teeth grinding.

How do I find out if I grind my teeth?
As said, grinding of teeth usually occurs at night time, hence many people are unaware about their habit. However a dull constant headache or sore jaw after waking up in the morning is a symptom of teeth grinding. Mostly it is your family members who come to know about the noise you make in sleep.

If you suspect or are told by someone about teeth grinding, talk to your dentist. They can examine your mouth and jaw for any signs of bruxism like jaw tenderness or excessive wear of your teeth.

Risk factor for teeth grinding
● Stress, anxiety
● Alcohol, Smoking
● Drugs: Antidepressants, Anti psychotics, Cocaine
● Excessive use of caffeine

Your dentist or oral health professional can assess the influence of these risk factors.

Is teeth grinding harmful?
In some cases, if teeth grinding continues for a long duration, like every night, then it can result in fracture or loss of tooth structure. Grinding wears off the tooth completely making it sensitive to cold or hot foods and thus increasing teeth sensitivity. Also teeth might wear completely down to the stumps. This causes the need for treatments like placement of bridges, crowns or even root canal of such teeth to reduce teeth sensitivity.

Not only can severe grinding of teeth damage teeth or result in tooth loss , it can also affect your jaws or worsen TMJ and change the appearance of your face.

How can I stop teeth grinding?
Your dentist can fit you a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. This will prevent wear of your teeth and prevent it from chipping . Also the jaw soreness or muscle tension is eliminated with no morning headaches or sore jaw.

What else can I do to stop grinding my teeth?
Your dentist may also review your medication just to see if that’s what is contributing to stress. If stress is causing you to grind teeth, ask your doctor about options to reduce your stress. Attend a stress counseling session, see a physical therapist or obtain a prescription for muscles relaxant for soothing effect.

Cognitive behavioral therapy , a type of talk therapy can help reduce stress. Exercise, medication and physical therapy is also of great help.

Other way to cut back grinding of teeth:
Do not chew on pencils or pen or anything that is not food Avoid chewing gums as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and more likely to grind teeth If you have a habit of day grinding, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth just behind the front teeth , with lips together. This helps your jaw muscles to relax and prevents teeth clenching. Avoid or reduce caffeine in foods and drinks like colas or coffee

Outlook for people with Teeth grinding:
Follow your doctor’s recommendations. If a nighty guard is given to you, wear it regularly. Sticking to your treatment plan helps in improving the symptoms and making you feel best.

Teeth grinding or bruxism happens when you clench and grind your teeth. It can happen when you are awake or during night time. Night teeth grinding can cause more problems as we don’t realize the severity with which we are grinding our teeth. Without treatment teeth grinding can cause jaw muscles and joints to get sore and give you bad headaches. If you are facing such problems visit your dentist immediately and find the right treatment option for you.

Call us or Whatsapp us at +91-9141160212 to book an appointment today! or just drop into our Dental Clinic at RR Nagar in Bangalore

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