It’s normal to occasionally grind our teeth when we are anxious or angry, but a continuous grind on a regular basis is known as bruxism.
Our teeth are meant to glide smoothly together, but unnatural grinding can lead to cracked teeth and serious jaw impairment. If you believe you suffer from bruxism, let’s investigate why it happens and how to treat it.
Introduction to Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding occurs mostly at night, right? Actually, teeth grinding is estimated to occur in 20 percent of the population while they are awake, and only eight percent of teeth grinding is estimated to occur during sleep. Grinding can wear down tooth enamel and have a negative effect on bone, gums and your jaw. Research initially thought that teeth grinding was connected to having malocclusion (having a bad bite), but new research suggests that how we handle anxiety and stress has a greater impact on teeth grinding then previously believed.
The Serious of Bruxism
Bruxism can start very early in life when our teeth are still developing. It’s estimated that 15 percent of children grind or clench their teeth. Even though grinding and clenching generally disappears as children age, it can still wreak havoc as people age. Teeth grinding can occur as long as 40 minutes for every hour of sleep, and this quickly and devastatingly erodes tooth enamel.
Consequences of Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Teeth grinding can lead to a variety of conditions, and it can really cause devastating effects over time. Fillings can break and eventually lead to nerve damage, grinded down teeth can face more sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages, teeth can become loose, gum recessions can occur and headaches and jaw aches can be common due to the overuse of muscles.
While there is no direct cure for bruxism, there are treatments that will help to manage the condition. If you suspect you suffer from bruxism, you should consult with your dentist to establish a treatment. Treatments will range from bite plates, to stress reduction, but a dentist will help you identify what is the right treatment. It isn’t worth guessing if you suffer from bruxism, so make an appointment as soon as possible if you suspect your teeth grinding is part of larger issue.
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