Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition in which people rub their teeth together forcefully, usually during sleep. It’s important to know a little about bruxism so that you can spot it and seek treatment promptly before damage occurs.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Stress and anxiety are the primary causes of the muscle tension that leads to clenched jaws and bruxism. However, teeth grinding can be caused by other factors, such as misaligned teeth or jaws, oral irritation, and even allergies. Children with bruxism are more likely to have one of these underlying physical causes. Adults who grind their teeth typically do so for psychological reasons or because of a sleep disorder.
How Grinding Teeth Causes Damage
Grinding the teeth on a regular basis over time can lead to headaches, soreness in the lower face, and loose or even broken teeth. More serious long-term consequences of grinding include hearing loss, TMJ, and changes in facial structure. It’s essential to visit a dentist as soon as the earliest symptoms arise. There are ways to reduce the damage and possibly even halt the behavior entirely.
Teeth Grinding Management and Prevention
Treatments for bruxism include:
- Wearing a mouth guard while sleeping
- Taking a muscle relaxant before bed
- Modifying behavior
- Addressing stress and anxiety through various methods, such as counseling, medication, or lifestyle changes
If you suspect that you or a family member may be grinding their teeth, make a dental appointment right away. When you enroll in EDP Dental Plan, you’ll feel confident about making that call. You can save up to 70% on regular dental visits without the hassles of conventional insurance. Call 631-272-5230 for more information or review our plans and register online.