When it comes to your teeth, most people are concerned with how often you brush and floss, and how you can prevent the formation of cavities. While it’s important to keep these things in mind, there are many oral concerns that you should try to avoid. One of the most common dental concerns that often goes unnoticed is teeth grinding, otherwise known as Bruxism. In today’s post, we will discuss a few things about teeth grinding that you should know to help you recognize the signs.
At Mosaic Dental, we are proud to be your neighborhood family dentist for residents of Sterling and the surrounding area. We offer a wide variety of services, including cosmetic dentistry, general dental care, children’s dentistry, and so much more! Our team of experts is here to ensure that your smile is the very best it can be, and we are more than happy to give you the comprehensive dental care you deserve. Learn more about our practice, and be sure to schedule an appointment by giving us a call today!
What Is Bruxism?
Some people will grind their teeth when they are angry or upset, but the once-in-a-while act of grinding your teeth doesn’t mean that you have Bruxism. Bruxism is a medical condition in which an individual grinds, gnashes, or clenches their teeth unconsciously. In most cases, this will happen when the person is asleep, which is why most people are unaware that they grind their teeth until they go in for their regular dental appointment. That being said, it is possible for people to grind their teeth while they are awake, but because this action is unconscious, it often goes unnoticed.
Signs You May Be Grinding Your Teeth
In most cases, teeth grinding will go unnoticed until the individual’s teeth show wear when they visit their dentist for a routine cleaning and checkup. For the most part, teeth grinding will happen when the person is asleep or while they are deeply focused, which means that they may not even be aware that they are doing it. However, there are certain symptoms that may be signs that you are grinding your teeth. For example, if you have a constant, dull headache, or a sore jaw, then it could be an indication that you are grinding your teeth.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Because teeth grinding is a common condition that affects as much as 20 percent of the adult population, it’s easy to think that there is a specific cause. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to determine the exact cause of why someone grinds their teeth, especially considering that most, if not all, people are unaware that they are actually doing it.
That being said, there are situations that are believed to be the cause of teeth grinding. Stress and anxiety are said to be the most plausible reasons for why an individual may grind their teeth. You may grind or clench your teeth out of stress during the day, and at night, stress and anxiety are said to be the most common factors that cause sleep grinding. In addition to stress and anxiety, an abnormal bite is also believed to be a cause of teeth grinding. If your top and bottom teeth don’t come together consistently, it may result in constant grinding of your teeth.
The Effects of Teeth Grinding
As you can imagine, constant and persistent grinding of your teeth can easily cause them to wear down over time. If the habit of grinding isn’t caught soon enough, it could result in the need for bridges, crowns, or implants to enhance the teeth that have been worn away. Additionally, teeth grinding can also lead to teeth becoming weak and breaking, loosening, or even falling out altogether.
How to Find Relief
The most common solution for teeth grinding is a mouth guard that you will wear while you’re sleeping. If it is determined that you grind your teeth out of stress, your dentist may suggest that you enroll in an exercise program, start seeing a stress counselor, visit a physical therapist, or find another type of solution that will help you feel less stressed.
If your teeth grinding is severe, then our dentist may also suggest that you avoid certain foods and drinks that can cause more stress, such as caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and more. It’s also a good idea to avoid chewing on pens and pencils, as well as chewing gum throughout the day, as it can stimulate the habit of clenching your jaw.
Get Expert Advice Today!
At Mosaic Dental, our team of experts is here to help you enhance and maintain your beautiful smile. Whether you grind your teeth and you’re in need of a mouth guard or you simply want to schedule an appointment for routine dental care, you can count on us to make your experience as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Learn more about the services we offer online, and call our Sterling dental office to schedule an appointment today!