Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
Anxiety and stress can cause many negative reactions in the body and teeth grinding is one of them. However, most cases of teeth grinding occur subconsciously while sleeping. It is estimated that nearly 80% of people that grind their teeth do it subconsciously. Sleep apnea may also play a part in teeth grinding.
How Do I Know If I Grind My Teeth?
Many people are not aware that they are grinding their teeth at all. A dull headache, facial pain, tooth sensitivity, or sore jaw upon waking up is a surefire sign of teeth grinding at night. Pain that feels like an earache can also be a symptom. Sometimes teeth grinding can be heard by others in the home, while the tooth grinder is asleep. A dentist can also identify signs of tooth wear from grinding.
Why Is It Bad To Grind My Teeth?
Long term tooth grinding can lead to tooth wear, fracture, periodontal (gum) disease, loss of teeth, abfraction (loss of tooth structure not caused by tooth decay), and painful Tempromandibular (jaw joint) issues. To repair the damage from grinding, dentists may use root canals, crowns, bridges, and even dentures.
How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?
There are a variety of options to help solve teeth grinding issues. Some dentists will fit patients will mouth guards or dental guards to wear when they sleep. Some cases of grinding need dental correction in which a dentist reshapes teeth or crowns for better alignment and prevention of further grinding issues. If the cause of grinding is stress related, patients can find relief in stress counseling or therapy. Lastly, breaking the habit of jaw clenching during the day can also help prevent tooth grinding.
If you suspect you grind your teeth, contact your dentist for an appointment to diagnose and treat your issues.