As tough as teeth are, they are not immune to the wear and tear of life, particularly if that involves regular teeth grinding.
Known as bruxism, teeth grinding affects up to half the population at some time, and five per cent of people regularly, with dire consequences for the condition of your teeth.
Here’s an insight into teeth grinding, and what you can do to stop it, or at least reduce the toll on your teeth.
A bit about bruxism
The trouble with bruxism is that many of us are unaware it’s even happening, as it tends to occur while we sleep. Often the first time the nightly ritual of grinding is drawn to our attention is when a partner lets us know.
If you haven’t been alerted to your grinding, here are some signs it might be happening:
- An aching jaw
- Loose teeth
- A headache in the morning
- Temperature-sensitive teeth
- Pain in your temples
- The tendency to clench your jaw when stressed
Why we do it
For many people bruxism directly correlates with stress and anxiety, but it can also become more regular due to daily habits in our life.
Tobacco use, caffeine consumption and alcohol have all been linked to bruxism, and there are other factors that can cause it too.
A misaligned jaw is one known cause, as is poor health, ongoing pain or malnutrition. Meanwhile even a filling that sits too high can prompt a bout of bruxism.
Interestingly, this tooth grinding might not be consistent. It can come and go over the course of our lives.
The impact of teeth grinding
Over time this grinding, gnashing and clenching all adds up to damage your teeth and affect your sleep. Common consequences of grinding that we see include:
- Worn teeth that are more prone to decay
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Loose fillings
- Sore jaw joints
- Additional root canals and fillings
- Regular headaches, neck and shoulder pain
- Interrupted sleep
What to do about bruxism
You can take some simple measures to reduce your likelihood of bruxism by focusing on relaxation and by reducing tobacco, alcohol and caffeine consumption prior to going to sleep.
However, for those who are regular teeth grinders, a mouth splint might be the best way to prevent further or future damage to your teeth.
At Brite Dental, our team can create a custom bite splint that looks a bit like a sports mouthguard. The splint is comfortable and provides a cushion of protection for your teeth during sleep.
Remember, it’s important to treat bruxism as quickly as possible because it can damage teeth and diminish the chances of a good night’s sleep.
About Brite Dental
Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.
Offering a full range of dental services ranging, from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.