While most of us put our best foot forward when it comes to cultivating healthy habits, what about ones that develop while we sleep? Often these habits can develop and become firmly entrenched before we even start to develop noticeable symptoms during waking life. Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding is one such issue. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms related to teeth grinding, it’s time for you to contact your dentist.
What Are the Symptoms of Teeth Grinding?
If you are or suspect you are, habitually grinding your teeth while you sleep, it should not be left untreated. Below are some of the known symptoms related to teeth grinding:
- Jaw Pain or Popping
- Sore Teeth
- Loose Teeth
- Fractured Teeth
What Do I Do if I Grind My Teeth?
If you are experiencing the above symptoms, chances are you could be grinding your teeth at night. Visiting our office is a good first step so we can assess the situation, look for dental damage that might need to be corrected, and come up with a strategy moving forward.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
While most people associate compulsive teeth grinding with stress and anxiety, there are also other causes. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea, where individuals experience pauses in breathing during sleep, can also be a contributing factor. Having an abnormal bite or gaps from teeth that are missing, or even crooked teeth are also thought to play a role in the development of Bruxism.
According to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, there is also a strong correlation between those who consume large amounts of alcohol and teeth grinding, as well as smokers. The study suggests that drinkers and smokers are twice as likely to habitually grind their teeth at night.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Teeth Grinding?
When it comes to treating teeth grinding, finding out the underlying cause can be very helpful. For those suffering from high levels of stress and anxiety, finding a positive outlet for that stress can relieve the habit. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are all healthy options when it comes to managing stress and anxiety levels.
Dr. Walters can also provide you with a custom-made mouthguard that will protect your teeth from nighttime grinding.
If you or someone you know suspects they are grinding their teeth at night, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Discovering the habit early on is crucial to preventing tooth damage. Those who frequently grind their teeth can strip their teeth of enamel, and over time, this can expose underlying layers of dentin. Individuals who reach this point will experience tooth sensitivity and decay. As your mouth is considered to be the gateway to your body, oral health, and overall health are inexorably linked. Any issues related to teeth grinding should be dealt with quickly in order to maintain optimum levels of oral and overall health.