It’s quite normal to clench or grind your teeth when stressed, anxious, or scared. However, if teeth grinding (bruxism) becomes a habit, the situation becomes serious. There are two types of bruxism classified according to their occurrence; night and day bruxism. Night bruxism occurs unconsciously after sleeping, while day bruxism occurs during the day when you are well conscious.
You can control the daytime teeth grinding; however, night time grinding is the deal-breaker. This is because clenching and grinding occur when you are asleep and unaware, so it’s difficult to control or get rid of the habit.
Grinding Teeth At Night … What’s The Big Deal?
The act of teeth grinding is remarkably similar to nail filing. However, your teeths’ function depends on their ragged nature, so leveling them out would cause an uneven bite. This is an issue because an uneven bite leads to chewing problems. Furthermore, bruxism leads to the erosion of enamel, exposing the sensitive pulp and dentin. The wear down of enamel increases teeth sensitivity to extra hot or cold foods and beverages.
However, the list of problems doesn’t end here. Bruxism can also lead to soreness in the jaw muscle, pain in joints, and a dull persistent headache. Sometimes, severe bruxism leads to a sleep disorder or broken sleep pattern, as many bruxism victims are susceptible to wake up suddenly with a headache.
Causes of Bruxism:
There is no clear cut reason behind bruxism; it’s mostly a blend of various factors including:
- Negative emotions rank high among the causes of bruxism. Feelings of fear, stress, or anxiety can cause the onset of night bruxism.
- Specific medication has the risk of bruxism as a side effect. Furthermore, caffeine and alcohol also increase the risk of bruxism.
- Genetics also plays a vital role in the development of such habits. If your close family members suffer from bruxism, then there is a high chance you may be affected as well.
Anxiety and stress are regular customers of life, but that doesn’t mean we should lose our beautiful teeth because of them!. Effective stress management plays a crucial role in treating bruxism. Relaxing exercises, like deep breaths, can ease up anxiety a bit. A good old fashioned talk about the problem can also help to reduce stress.
However, if a disruptive sleep cycle causes bruxism, making relevant adjustments can help a lot. For example, try sleeping in a dark, cool place. In addition, remove every source of blue light from the room. Similarly, if medication or diet causes teeth grinding to occur, change your diet according to your dentist’s advice.
Brenham Family Dental is here to help:
We have creative strategies to help you recover from bruxism. Apart from a proper diagnosis and follow up treatments, you can get a custom made mouthguard from us. A mouthguard is a dental shield that protects your teeth from abrasion caused by night-time grinding. Furthermore, we can help your teeth and jaw recover from the stress and damage caused by bruxism. More often, dental fillings are required if the tooth has chipped or fractured beyond natural repair. Call us urgently at 979-421-9685 if you are suffering from bruxism.