Do you ever find yourself clenching your jaw throughout the day, or wake up with sensitive teeth, and headache? Teeth grinding is a condition where a person clenches or gnashes their teeth unconsciously. This habit is a very common condition that affects one-thirds of adults in the daytime, and one out of ten adults while they sleep.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is often the result of extreme stress or anxiety. Although it does not always cause symptoms, some of the most common teeth grinding effects are headaches, facial pain, and worn down teeth. Most people who have this condition do not realize they are grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw, and it often happens while sleeping or when under a lot of pressure.
In this article, you will know everything about teeth grinding, why people grind their teeth, and how to stop grinding teeth for a better and safer sleep.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
In most cases teeth grinding does not cause symptoms, but when it happens, it includes:
- Extremely loud and unnatural teeth grinding and clenching
- Worn or flattened out teeth
- Frequent toothache and sensitivity
- Tired jaw muscles that may lead to a locked jaw
- Facial pain and sore neck muscles
- Damage caused by chewing the inside of the cheek
- Disturbed sleep
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Teeth grinding causes can sometimes be unclear and hard to understand, but it usually boils down to the following:
Most of the time, teeth grinding is caused by extreme stress. When people are stressed, they have a hard time relaxing their muscles, this will cause them to clench their jaws and grind their teeth together.
Same with stress, anxiety is the leading cause of teeth grinding and jaw clenching because it causes the muscle to tighten every time it happens as well. It often happens unconsciously or during sleep.
Sometimes, teeth grinding can be a side effect of a certain medication. The teeth grinding can be linked to a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Some of this medicine’s side effects include tightness of jaw muscles.
If a person has a particular sleep disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it can cause interrupted breathing during sleep, and may lead to the person grinding their teeth. Other sleep disorders that may lead to teeth grinding include:
- Sleep talking
- Excessive movements
- Sleep paralysis
- Hallucinations while asleep or semi-conscious
Other factors can lead to teeth grinding such as:
- Drinking alcohol
- Using drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy
- Drinking too much caffeine such as coffee and tea
Impacts of Teeth Grinding
As time goes by, teeth grinding can effectually have a huge effect on the lives of the people with that condition. It can lead to pain, headaches, tooth fracture, and even other types of disorders and muscle problems that may lead to inability to chew.
People seek professional treatment when they experience pain and when it has already spread to their whole face or when the teeth show visible side effects from constant mashing.
Teeth grinding may come as a surprise for most people because they don’t realize they are grinding their teeth when they have already developed a migraine or if their partner tells them about it.
Treatments for Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can wear the patients’ teeth down and cause a lot of dental and medical side effects. In order to stop the grinding and mashing of the teeth, dentists found a way to stop grinding teeth in sleep naturally. Patients who experience this condition are often fitted with a mouth guard for teeth grinding, a retainer-like instrument that must be worn during sleep. This will help prevent any further damage to the teeth, but it doesn’t stop the grinding and clenching of the jaw.
Some of the treatments that may help with the intensity of the grinding include:
- Medications: There are certain medications that help the jaw to relax and stop the grinding during sleep. If the patient is taking antidepressants that cause teeth grinding, they may be prescribed with another medication that doesn’t cause it. They may also be prescribed with antidepressants that will help cope with the stress causing them to grind their teeth
- Beauty Procedures: Some patients go through certain procedures such as Botox injections. This type of procedure paralyzes the jaw muscles and prevents teeth grinding. Although this procedure has not been approved by the FDA, it is known to be safe and effective.
In treating teeth grinding, it is best to use a natural treatment to ensure 100% safety and effectivity. At Sunrise Dentistry, we have the best holistic dentist in Durango, CO. We have trained experts who will provide you the best treatment to stop teeth grinding before it causes any further damage. We also provide procedures to fix the teeth that are affected by constant grinding and mashing.
To know more about our services, visit our website and contact us now!