Teeth grinding affects both children and adults, and while there are no specific medications to treat it, there are still remedies that can be used to stop it. If you find yourself grinding or clenching your teeth, chances are you are suffering from what is called bruxism.
What are its symptoms?
There are various symptoms that come with bruxism. The most frequently asked question when it comes to bruxism is, does it cause pain, and the answer is, YES.
When you grind your teeth, you put stress on your temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects your jaw bone to your skull), which can cause headaches. In more severe cases, it may even cause difficulty moving your lower jaw. In these cases, a home remedy is to practice jaw-stretching exercises. If the pain is too severe, we recommend immediately visiting your local dentist.
Grinding your teeth on a regular basis will erode the enamel on the chewing surface, resulting in hypersensitivity. You may also experience pain when you eat hot or cold food.. Using toothpaste and mouthwash designed specifically for sensitive teeth can help you combat hypersensitivity.
What Causes Teeth Grinding or Bruxism?
Stress and Anxiety
Stress is still the most common cause of bruxism; it can be from work or even from your lifestyle. If you are under too much stress in your daily life, you may end up grinding your teeth without even realizing it. While mild bruxism does not require immediate treatment, if left untreated, it can become painful very soon.
This may appear complicated, but it is a common cause of bruxism. When you clench your teeth, one of them makes contact faster than the others, resulting in a misaligned bite and more pressure on one tooth. This may result in enamel erosion and, you guessed it, pain!
If you have other people in your family who grind their teeth, it is possible that you will develop it as well. In this case, stress may not be the cause of your teeth grinding, and you have the opportunity to consult a dentist before the condition worsens.
Signs That You Grind Your Teeth
Bruxism can occur while you are sleeping (sleep bruxism) or while you are awake (awake bruxism). The majority of people grind their teeth while awake due to stress or a caffeinated diet, but sleep bruxism is a sleep movement-related disorder. The latter is more difficult to detect, but if you notice these signs, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.
- Abnormal tooth wear
- Tongue indentations
- Gum recession
- Reduction of salivary flow
- Difficulty in jaw movement
- Myofascial pain
How can it be fixed?
If stress is a major cause of your teeth grinding, behavioral therapy can help you manage it. Although habit reversal therapy has been shown to reduce the severity of bruxism, if you notice symptoms such as damaged teeth or pain in masticatory muscles (muscles attached to your jaw), you should consult your dentist.
This is the most commonly used treatment for sleep bruxism. A dentist-recommended mouth guard is the best one for you. Customized mouthguards will last longer and will help you avoid pain and possibly wear out your enamel. If you’re suffering from bruxism, and are thinking of getting a mouthguard, consider visiting your local dentist and getting yourself fitted with a custom mouthguard.
Physical Exercises for Your Face and Jaw
If you have an early onset of awake bruxism, you can try practicing facial exercises on how to rest your tongue on your palate to prevent clenching your jaw. Jaw stretching exercises will also help you get relief from the pain in your jaw.
Tobacco and caffeine use will only negatively impact teeth grinding, which is common in people working on multiple tasks that require a lot of attention; also, eating a healthy diet is always a good choice!
We’ve Got You Covered In Gilbert
Bruxism is one of the most relevant and complex dental disorders. If you have symptoms of bruxism get an appointment with us at Premier Family Dental!