What Causes Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

teeth grinding

What Causes Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Most people grind their teeth from time to time, and they usually don’t even notice. Occasional teeth grinding is not really a cause for concern, but if you find that you have a chronic problem (medically known as bruxism), you’ll need to get to the bottom of what’s causing your teeth grinding so that you can protect your teeth from wear and tear. 

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Some people grind their teeth out of anxiety while they are awake, but the majority of individuals with bruxism grind their teeth at night while they are asleep. Teeth grinding can be the result of an abnormal bite pattern, crooked teeth, and even certain medications. Sleeping disorders can also cause teeth grinding.

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

If your teeth grinding mainly occurs at night, there are several steps you can take before bed to try and keep yourself from grinding. 

  1. Cut back on caffeinated foods like chocolate, coffee, and soda, especially near bedtime.
  2. Consuming alcohol before bed can also result in increased grinding, so say no to alcoholic drinks before bedtime. 
  3. Train your jaw muscles to relax by avoiding activities that tense your jaw, like chewing gum. 
  4. Relax your jaw muscles before bed at night by holding a warm compress to your jawline, near the earlobe. 
  5. Wearing a night guard can also help prevent grinding and protect your teeth from its harmful effects.

The Harmful Effects of Bruxism

Chronic teeth grinding puts your teeth, jawbones, and facial muscles through a lot of wear and tear. If you’ve ever woken up to pain or discomfort in your mouth or jaw, it could be a sign that you have a teeth grinding problem. Chronic grinding, if left untreated, can lead to permanent damage, tooth fractures, tooth loss, and loose teeth. 

If your teeth grinding gets out of hand, you may need uncomfortable and costly dental treatments such as root canals, dental implants, tooth extractions, or even dentures. Bruxism can also cause jaw damage, can change the overall appearance of your face, and worsen conditions like Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ). Teeth grinding and its serious effects can be mitigated by using a custom night guard, so if you notice any symptoms of bruxism, schedule a dental exam right away.

Suffering from Bruxism? Call Prescott Dentistry Today!

If you’re suffering from bruxism and aren’t sure how to fix it, give us a call. We understand just how hard it can be to live your day-to-day life with a condition that can be debilitating in severe cases. Our team of dental professionals is here to support your dental health in any way that we can. Contact us today to make an appointment and take the next step towards teeth grinding relief.