Although grinding your teeth while sleeping
causes many more problems,
no matter when it happens, grinding your teeth can be incredibly
the teeth and the jaw, and is known to lead to other
conditions such headaches, migraines, and jaw disorders such as TMJ or
temperomandibular joint disorder.
can also cause the teeth to become
ground down, chip, crack, or break. Other problems it can lead to
include increased tooth sensitivity due to the enamel being worn down
and the inner layers of the tooth exposed, constant earaches, jaw aches
and pains, and other forms of chronic facial pain.
is why it is so
important to get the problem looked at if you have been told you grind
your teeth, as failure to do so could cause many other issues.
is Bruxism Diagnosed?
problem with diagnosing bruxism lies in the statement above,
specifically "if you have been told you grind your teeth." Most teeth
grinding occurs during the night, and the people who do so are usually
unaware of the fact that they even have this
is, of course, unless
they happen to sleep next to the same person night after night. If
you've ever slept next to someone who grinds their teeth, then you know
the sound is unmistakable. Still, not all people who grind their teeth
will experience the negative effects of it, especially if it only
rarely happens or they don't do it too vigorously.
Nonetheless, if someone tells
you that you grind your teeth while
sleeping, you should make
an appointment to see your dentist to see
what can be done about it. The first step is to visit a dentist, but
they may likely recommend you to see a jaw specialist or possibly an
orthodontist for treatment if it is necessary.
Speaking of the dentist, it is actually dentists who most often
diagnose this condition, as continuous grinding of the teeth will soon
lead to changes in the teeth and jaws that will be very apparent to any
This means the main
problem with diagnosis is that it is usually impossible until it begins
to cause permanent damage to the teeth, i.e. they begin to show signs
of being worn down. This makes it even more important to get it looked
at the very first time
you are told about your nighttime teeth grinding.
of the major problems with this disorder is that even most experts
don't fully understand what causes it, as the problem could be related
to a wide variety of
mental and physical problems. Still, there are
certain things which are thought to at least contribute to this
- Stress. Anything
causes a person
to feel stressed, anxious, or tense can definitely contribute to the
condition. It is also thought to be a result of constantly holding in
one's feelings and emotions.
- Having an aggressive or
personality. Research has shown that individuals with
competitive, aggressive, or hyperactive personality types are much more
likely to develop this condition.
- Improperly aligned upper
jaws. Having an improperly aligned jaw causes many
problems with the
muscles in the jaw, which can in turn lead to increased clenching or
- Can be a side effect of
and prescription medication. Teeth grinding is a side effect of
certain psychological medications, although not a very common one.
- The condition is much
common in children, and it typically goes away on its own
Options For Bruxism
majority of people who grind their teeth do so quite infrequently
and do not need any form of treatment. However, some people may begin
to grind and gnash their teeth night after night or violently, and in
these cases, the person may need to seek help. This help usually
involves the use of some form of mouth
guard or other oral dental
device that is designed to help protect the teeth.
Many people find relief by using a simple mouth guard that can
be purchased in most online stores. We personally recommend the Plackers
These disposable mouth guards come in packs of 14, 24 or 34 and last
about three nights each. Alternatively, you could have a mouth guard
especially designed for you by your dentist, but these devices are much
matter which type you use, a mouth guard will not
actually stop you from grinding your teeth, but it will nonetheless
teeth from being damaged by the grinding.
The other main form of treatment is the use of a splint or a
retainer to help realign
the jaw and hopefully reduce the clenching.
These splints will need to be specially made to perfectly fit your
mouth, and are useful in cases where improper jaw alignment is thought
to be the main factor causing you to grind your teeth or clench your
last option that more people are turning to is Botox. Injecting
small amounts of botulism toxin into the jaw area will weaken the
muscles and usually decreases the condition. Plus it also helps reduce
wrinkles, so it’s a win-win situation for some.
Still, while these options should help, many people also
treating their symptoms and causes themselves, especially those
tight or overworked jaw muscles. Many people have some success with
focusing on keeping their mouth unclenched, while others report that
their jaw, neck, and face several times a day does enough
keep their muscles relaxed that it stops the teeth grinding and
last method is to try and minimize your daily stress, or
use a meditation or
relaxation technique to help fully relax your body
and eliminate stress before going to sleep.
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