Teeth grinding may seem harmless compared to other dental health issues, but over time it can lead to serious health problems. There are many different factors that can lead to increased teeth grinding, also referred to as bruxism. Understanding the causes and treatment methods will help you tackle your teeth grinding for a sense of relief and better dental health.
What’s behind teeth grinding?
People often grind their teeth without being consciously aware of it. This occurs during the day as well as at night while you sleep. If the grinding occurs on a regular basis, it can create symptoms that include headache and neck pain, dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and damage to the teeth. In some cases, sleep issues are accompanied by a tendency to grind the teeth at night.
Signs of teeth grinding
It’s easy to be unaware of teeth grinding, but there are a few ways to determine if you’re grinding your teeth and are at risk for more serious issues. If you experience any soreness around the face and jaw, you’re likely grinding your teeth at night. The muscles of the jaw can also become tight due to excessive contractions when grinding. This can lead to teeth becoming worn and chipped, and they may become sensitive over time. If you notice any damage to the tissues on the inside of the cheek, you may need to see a dental professional to evaluate you for treatment.
What to do about teeth grinding
1. Professional evaluation
The first step in stopping your teeth from grinding is to get an evaluation from your dentist. This allows you to determine any problems related to the alignment of your teeth, as well as to document any existing damage. Your dentist can also recommend secondary assessments to determine if you’re suffering from any sleep issues.
2. Stress management
Stress is a major cause of teeth grinding. Taking steps to reduce your stress levels will help you avoid grinding your teeth. Consider common stress management techniques such as exercise, yoga, and meditation. Be aware of the things that trigger your stress on a daily basis. This helps you proactively avoid excessive teeth grinding.
3. Check medication
If you’re taking prescription medications, consult with your doctor to find out if the medication can contribute to teeth grinding.
4. Dental solutions
Customized mouth guards can be worn at night to prevent further damage, and are your best prevention in causing wear and tear to your teeth as a result of grinding them at night. If you need to restore damaged teeth, using onlays or crowns can restore your bite for improved function and aesthetic quality. There are many factors that can cause you to grind your teeth. As a result, there are a number of options that you can take to tackle this issue and prevent further damage.
Consulting with a skilled dental professional will help you determine which solutions will work best for your lasting dental health.