The Dangers Of Chronic Teeth Grinding

GRINDING OUR TEETH briefly when we’re nervous or frustrated is pretty normal. When the grinding doesn’t stop, however, it can do a lot of damage, whether it happens during the day or while we’re asleep. This kind of chronic grinding is called bruxism.

What Causes Teeth Grinding?

While daytime bruxism can be the result of stress and sleep bruxism is often associated with sleep apnea or snoring, you don’t need stress or a sleep disorder to have a teeth-grinding habit (and vice versa). It could be because of missing or improperly aligned teeth, or a bad bite.

Certain factors can predispose someone to bruxism. These include anxiety and stress, age (children are more prone to grinding than adults), antidepressants (including prescription drugs, tobacco, and alcohol), a family history of bruxism, and other disorders like Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, and GERD.

Common Signs Of A Grinding Habit

Many people who grind their teeth don’t notice when they do it (especially if they’re mainly doing it in their sleep) but you don’t have to catch a teeth-grinder in the act, because there are plenty of other indicators:

Treatment Options For Bruxism

The best treatment for bruxism will depend on which type it is, and some treatments focus more on minimizing damage while others focus on finding the cause of the grinding and addressing it.

Orthodontic Treatment

For bruxism that is caused by a bad bite or poorly aligned teeth, straightening those teeth out and correcting the bite may fix the problem.

Custom Mouthguards

While a mouthguard can’t do anything about the grinding itself or what’s causing it, it can protect the teeth from further damage by providing a cushion between the upper and lower teeth.

Behavioral Therapy

Habit-reversal techniques and behavioral therapy can help patients with teeth grinding become more aware of the habit and make a more conscious effort to stop. This is more effective for awake bruxism than sleep bruxism, as the latter is much more difficult to control.

Relaxation

In cases where bruxism is caused by stress or anxiety, relaxation techniques can help. These include activities like massages, warm baths, listening to calming music, getting a full night’s sleep, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.

It’s Time To Stop The Grind!

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms that indicate bruxism, schedule an appointment with us so we can make a plan for how to address it and stop the damage. It’s crucial not to leave a habit like this untreated, because that will only give it more time to hurt your teeth.

We’re here to help you keep your teeth healthy!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Top 7 Not-So-Obvious Signs of An Abscessed Tooth

Some of the most obvious signs of a dental abscess are tooth pain, combined with temperature and pressure sensitivity. However, some symptoms aren’t as easy to pinpoint and can make you think something else is going on.

Using A Water Flosser vs. Traditional Floss

Using traditional flossing string to clean between your teeth is a very simple, yet highly effective method that works. A water flosser from our Encino, California dentist, is an oral irrigation system that flushes debris out from between your teeth.

Making the Most of Your Dental Insurance

Right now is a great time to safely see the dentist. Plus, your dental insurance covers most preventative care services at 100%. By taking advantage of your included benefits, you can schedule your exam and cleaning to intercept common dental issues early.

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Your Oral Health?

Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is a condition in which excess tissue in the back of your throat blocks your airway during sleep, causing you to stop breathing. This condition has many side-effects.

How to Avoid the Dreaded Bottle Rot

AS PEDIATRIC DENTAL care experts, our top priority is good dental health in our young patients. Today, we want to focus on protecting kids’ teeth from something called “bottle rot.”