Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is the habit of clenching the jaw and biting with too much pressure. When it becomes a consistent habit, even while sleeping, it can cause jaw pain, deteriorate enamel, and even chip a tooth. For these reasons, bruxism needs to be treated as soon as possible to prevent further tooth damage.
This condition can be caused due to anxiety and stress, so the reasons behind it can be varied. Other causes could be bad bite formation or crooked teeth. No matter what the reason behind teeth grinding is, it is important to address the situation at the right time before it causes bigger problems.
It is possible to treat bruxism with patience and the help of a dentist. There are other treatment options recommended to stop teeth grinding, like the use of talk therapy. For affordable and top-quality dental care, visit us at Dental Solutions in Los Algodones Mexico and we will help you to take care and protect your teeth.
Causes of teeth grinding
Occasional teeth grinding is normal and doesn’t represent any harm. Teenagers and children grind their teeth, and the habit stops when they get older. However, constant and severe bruxism can be problematic. It isn’t clear what causes constant teeth grinding, but it has a correlation with certain conditions or activities:
Stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are regular factors in severe cases. People with constant anxiety or stress tend to accumulate tension in the body, and this can be manifested as a constant clenching of the teeth.
Crooked teeth, an abnormal bite, and other dental problems can cause severe bruxism. This condition requires a professional evaluation from a dentist, and depending on the case, they can recommend the best dental treatment.
Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can cause teeth grinding. It is common to find patients with sleep problems that also have sleep bruxism.
Medication and harmful habits
Certain medications can induce bruxism, especially at night.
Also, habits like smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and stimulant drugs like ecstasy or cocaine can be the cause of teeth grinding.
Symptoms of teeth grinding
Some cases are easy to identify, but it is common for patients to not realize that they grind their teeth since this can be an unconscious habit. There are specific symptoms that can help you identify if you are suffering from bruxism.
Sore jaw muscles
Constant teeth grinding requires a lot of tension on the jaw muscles, which can cause pain in all facial muscles. You could notice pain while talking, chewing, and yawning.
Since there is a lot of tension on the jaw muscles and face, it is pretty common that the pain extends to the head. Pain on the sides of the head is a common sign of bruxism.
It is common to suffer pain around the ears due to the tension around the jaws.
Since teeth are in constant friction, it is common to find wear down or a chipped tooth. In severe cases, it is possible to lose teeth due to grinding.
If you have a few of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a dentist that can help you to identify the problem and protect your teeth. You can contact us at Dental Solution and we will guide you through the best treatment.
Consequences: why are teeth grinding harmful?
Grinding your teeth together can have some dangerous effects on your mouth. In the best-case scenario you will be experiencing pains in your jaw, face, and head due to the constant rocking and stress in your teeth.
Constant bruxism can loosen your teeth leading to tooth loss. It is possible that dental crowns, bridges, and even dental implants need a replacement if there is too much wear down.
Another consequence of bruxism is cracking your teeth, which requires immediate attention to prevent further damage.
In some extreme scenarios, it can cause TMJ disorders or temporomandibular joint syndrome. Which can affect the look of your jaw and face.
How to stop grinding your teeth?
There are different solutions and recommendations to treat bruxism, and it depends on what is the root of the problem. Overall, it is best to avoid alcohol, foods, and drinks that contain caffeine and drugs. Also, avoid chewing gum and other objects that can put more tension on your jaw muscles.
A mouth guard can stop the grinding right away and protect your upper and lower teeth. Especially if you suffer from sleep bruxism, a night guard helps you to avoid any damage to your teeth.
You can get them at your dentist’s office, and the doctor will guide you through the entire process. They can be made to fit your upper or lower teeth, and the idea is to prevent constant friction. Something as simple as mouthguards can prevent further damage and maintain your smile.
It is important to know that mouth guards only protect your teeth but the habit persists. It is needed complementary treatment to solve the problem.
Bruxism can be caused due to abnomal bite. If your bite is not aligned, consider braces or surgery to correct it. it is important to talk with your dentist so you can decide what is the best course of action. In Dental Solutions, after diagnosis, we offer all dental treatments to correct abnormal bite at the best price.
A doctor can prescribe medication to treat the condition. Muscle relaxants can be recommended to reduce tension and stress before sleeping, and it also helps to reduce pain.
Anti-anxiety medications can be an option if what is causing bruxism are emotional issues related to stress and anxiety.
If the case is severe and the patient doesn’t improve with previous treatment, it is possible for the doctor to recommend botox injections, a form of botulinum toxin, that can help with the condition.
Addressing related disorders
Bruxism can be a symptom of other disorders. For example, if teeth grinding is related to sleep apnea, a doctor can recommend some sleep medicine to improve your condition. Sleep medicine will induce higher levels of relaxation.
It can also be a side effect of a medication. If this is the case, you can consult with your doctor to prescribe you a different one. It is important to discuss it first with a professional before making any changes.
Finally, bruxism can be related to health problems, like reflux disease, and once the cause is treated, the bruxism will disappear.
A highly recommended solution is therapy, which can help to reduce stress and promote behavior change. A physical therapist can recommend mediation, exercise, and other treatments to solve the problem. This can be the best option if you are suffering from awake bruxism too.
Through counseling, it can address the emotional problems that are the root of bruxism, and it is also possible to learn techniques to modify or remove the habit. Even though this path takes time and patience, it is a long-lasting solution to teeth-grinding bruxism.
Jaw stress reduction
Some common techniques include exercises to relax the jaw, which is really easy to learn and effective. These are stretching movements that will help you to release the tension. This is a simple tip that can be implemented at home and you can practice it before sleep.
However, if you grind your teeth too often and it is starting to affect your smile and health, it is best to ask for professional advice.