Millions of people are affected by bruxism, or teeth grinding. Patients with bruxism grind or clench their teeth. Most people grind their teeth at night and as a result, may not realize that they have a problem. Instead, they may notice that they have headaches, sore jaws, or worn teeth.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding, is often the sign of an underlying bite problem. Although stress is also a primary cause of bruxism, when teeth are misaligned and the bite is out of balance, patients are more likely to grind or clench their teeth. Common signs of bruxism include:
- Worn teeth
- Dull or abraded tooth enamel
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Broken fillings and/or crowns
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Jaw pain or soreness
Dr. Brent Engelberg will take the time during an examination to look for the signs of bruxism and recommend the appropriate treatment to stop tooth grinding and repair tooth damage. Left untreated, bruxism can lead to tooth and gum damage as well as cause TMJ related symptoms such as jaw pain and headaches.
What causes people to grind their teeth?
Some people grind their teeth as a response to emotional distress. Nervousness, stress, and anger are all emotions that may cause someone to grind their teeth excessively. Teeth grinding can also be a habit formed in one’s sleep. Wearing a mouthguard can protect your teeth from the damage of your grinding.
What are the symptoms of teeth grinding?
Most people who grind their teeth at night experience other issues alongside, or as a result of their grinding habit. These may include neck pain, shoulder pain, TMJ disorders, morning headaches and insomnia. Grinding your teeth can have many negative effects on your health. Over time it can cause your teeth to crack and chip.
What can you do to stop grinding your teeth?
Stopping teeth grinding is done by identifying the source that is causing you to grind your teeth. This means finding what is causing you to grind your teeth and fixing that issue. For many people it may be stress or anxiety causing them to grind their teeth. Addressing what area of one’s life is causing them stress will hopefully help stop with the grinding.
Why is teeth grinding so harmful?
Teeth grinding is harmful to your teeth because it is a constant pressure on things that are only meant to be used to eat and digest our food. When extra force is applied often, it can cause many issues for the surface of the teeth. In order to protect your teeth from further damage, wearing a mouthguard at night can be a helpful preventive tool.