What is Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)?
Teeth grinding is common and involuntary. It usually happens during sleep, so most people are completely unaware that they are grinding and only come to realise it when they are told by a friend, partner or parent of the noise the following morning.
Common causes are stress, anxiety, drug use (particularly amphetamines), having an imperfect bite, pain and extreme mental concentration.
The bad news is that clenching and grinding cause damage to your teeth. The good news is that at Total Dental Care, we can help. If you think you grind your teeth, make an appointment and we’ll assess the damage and prescribe a solution.
Our goal at Total Dental Care is to give you a beautiful, healthy and confident smile.
Warning Signs for Other Conditions
Bruxism is a common side effect of stress and sleeping disorders. If you’re someone who wakes up with headaches or jaw pain, snores or experiences chronic fatigue, there could be a more serious condition going on. People with obstructive sleep apnoea often clench and grind their teeth when their body is deprived of oxygen. Over time, it can put them at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
Is it Normal for Children to Grind Their Teeth?
Children who have an obstructed airway may tend to grind their teeth while they sleep. For the most part, childhood bruxism is something that most children will grow out of when their adult teeth erupt. If this is a symptom you’ve observed in your own child, let us know. We’ll screen for other signs of more problematic conditions.
Daytime Teeth Grinding
Some people are able to break their bruxism habits if they are daytime grinders. When your mouth is at rest, your lips should be touching but your teeth shouldn’t. Telling yourself, “Lips together, teeth apart” can help you train your mouth into a proper resting position. This exercise can also help to ease muscle tension around your face, forehead and TMJ.
Smaller bite splints are available for people who need protection while they’re at work or on the road. If you know you’re a daytime bruxer (and can feel it because of the jaw pain or headaches), just let us know!
Treatment for Teeth Grinding at Night
As most grinding occurs during your sleep, the most common solution is the use of a special mouth guard to wear at night so that the guard is worn down instead of your teeth.
Other common treatments provided for grinders are the repair of a damaged tooth and the fixing of fillings that are too high and causing an incorrect bite.
If your grinding is the result of suffering from psychological stress you should consider speaking to your doctor or undertaking exercise, stress management and practising relaxation techniques.