Do you wake up with pain and discomfort in your teeth, jaws and face and some tenderness in your neck as well as head region???
So this habit which you have unknowingly developed is known as bruxism or teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding is a common habit, but that doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Forces generated by grinding of teeth are capable enough to wear down a tooth or even loosen them.
Effects of teeth grinding…
- Teeth which have enamel worn away become sensitive to hot or cold food.
- Crowns and fillings may get damaged.
- Jaw pain and headaches.
- Abfraction or loss of tooth structure along the gum line caused by tooth grinding and not decay.
- Loosening of teeth.
Why do people grind their teeth???
- The most common reason for grinding is stress and anxiety and it often occurs during sleep.
- Sometimes people grind their teeth because of misalignment of teeth or other bite problems.
- Usage of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and drugs may also lead to bruxism.
How to know you grind your teeth???
Grinding often occurs at night during sleep so most of the patients are unaware of the habit, yet if you wake up with headache and jaw pain and discomfort in the teeth these are the signs telling you that you may have developed teeth grinding (bruxism) habit and it should be taken care of.
People also get to know about this habit by their loved ones.
At regular dental checkups your dentist may look at the condition of your oral cavity and can conclude whether or not you grind your teeth.
What can be done??
- Stress management.
- Wear a custom made mouth guard as suggested by the dentist to protect the teeth from further damage.
- Avoid alcohol
- Do not chew on pens and pencils
- Train yourself to not grind your teeth.
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm wash cloth.
Do children grind their teeth and what can be done to reduce it??
Yes teeth grinding is not just limited to adults even children grind their teeth. Children tend to do so at the peak ages of teeth eruption and when their permanent teeth come in mostly the habitgoes on its own.
Tips to stop your child from grinding:
- Decrease your child’s physical activity and stimulation just before bed.
- Try massage and stretching exercises to relax the muscles.
- Make sure your child gets enough amount of water.
Take your child for dental examination regularly.