Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is the involuntary grinding and clenching of your teeth. Most people are unaware that they grind their teeth as it typically occurs when they are asleep and are only made aware of it by their partner or parent who may hear it happening.
While symptoms of teeth grinding are limited, some advanced symptoms may include jaw pain, headaches or tooth sensitivity.
Some of the main causes of teeth grinding include:
Stress and anxiety
Missing or crooked teeth
Growth of teeth (eruption of baby teeth in children)
Teeth grinding can be quite harmful as it can result in the fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. Constant grinding places a lot of pressure on your teeth, jaw joints and muscles, often wearing down your teeth. The pressure of teeth grinding can cause cracking of your protective enamel, and can lead to greater sensitivity to different temperatures and discomfort when biting. In more serious causes, damage caused by bruxism may require root canals, implants, or even dentures.
Thankfully, there are many things your dentist can do to help prevent and treat Bruxism. Your dentist can examine your teeth and take xrays in order to see the severity of the problem and potential damage to your teeths and gums. A night guard is one of the most common treatment options for those who experience teeth grinding when they sleep. This is a simple option which is done by having impressions taken of your teeth which are sent to make a custom fit mouth guard. Wearing a night guard provides your teeth with the best protection against grinding or clenching when you sleep.
If stress is the underlying cause of your teeth grinding, make sure to ask your doctor or dentist on tips or options on how to reduce your stress. Attending counselling, exercise groups or obtaining a prescription are some of the options that can be offered.
It is important to book in with one of our dentists if you suspect that you experience Bruxism. Early detection is key to preventing any serious damage to your teeth!