Have you noticed that your teeth have become progressively flattened over the years? Have you ever woken up to the sound of your teeth grinding against each other loudly? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about why you might be grinding your teeth.
If you're dealing with any sort of teeth grinding, then you need to get help from local dentists. Doing so can help you learn all about what bruxism is, why it's bad, and how you can fix it.
See below for an in-depth guide on why you might be grinding your teeth and how a dentist near you can help correct it.
What Causes are Teeth Grinding?
If you deal with teeth grinding, then you aren't alone. Many people think that this is a quirky, bad habit that some people pick up on, such as biting your nails or popping your fingers.
The truth is that teeth grinding, also known as "bruxism", has many different causes. Such causes include your:
- Additional habits (like smoking, drinking, etc.)
- Other disorders that you might have
Bruxism has much more of a mental component than most people are meant to believe. It's generally brought on with feelings of stress or immense anxiety. It's also quite common in those that are aggressive or hyperactive, which is why it's so common in children.
There are two types of bruxism: awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. The names certainly imply their circumstances, but the causes behind them are varied.
For example, awake bruxism is caused by heightened emotions, such as tension, anger, and frustration. Most people clench their teeth subliminally, even when they're fully awake and aware.
Meanwhile, sleep bruxism is often caused by a physical activation as you rest. It's most common when you wake up abruptly from a deep REM cycle.
Why is Bruxism Bad?
Perhaps you're unsure whether you have bad teeth grinding or not. You haven't woken up from your teeth hitting each other, but you fear there are subliminal signs that you're overlooking.
First, take a look at the current condition of your teeth in a mirror. Do any of your teeth seem loose or flattened? Do they have any chipped parts or fractures in them? Does the enamel look worn down?
Second, pay special attention to the functionality of your teeth. Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold foods? Have you noticed an increase in tooth pain in the last few months? Do your jaw or face feel sore when you wake up?
You'll also want to assess how you're feeling when you sleep. Does your spouse/partner make any mention of loud teeth grinding while you sleep? Do they notice that you wake up at random times during the night?
Some people notice odd pains or sensations. For example, you might feel that you have a dull headache in the side of your head or something that feels like pain inside your ear. Some patients even notice that they've bitten down on the inside of their cheeks while they were sleeping.
Bruxism can lead to a gradual breakdown of your teeth. If not corrected by local dentists, bruxism can lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
How Can You Fix Bruxism?
Now that you understand what causes bruxism and why it's bad, let's take a look at some of the best ways to treat it.
Sometimes, self-awareness is the best cure. Now that you're aware of your struggle with bruxism, you can become more intentional about fixing it.
When you meet with a dentist near you, they can help you learn about the best position for your mouth and jaw while you sleep and work on high-level tasks during the day.
By becoming more aware of the most stressful moments in your day, you can prioritize maintaining proper jaw position; this can help you lower the frequency of bruxism in your life.
If you've dealt with bruxism for a long time, then you might have complications with chewing your food. If that's the case, then drastic dental measures might have to be taken.
A knowledgeable dentist can inform you of all your options. The answer might be as simple as using dental crowns to repair all the damage that teeth-grinding has done.
This can benefit you in other areas as well. By being able to better chew your food, you'll notice improvements in your digestion. You might not have as many stomach pains, a common side effect of misaligned teeth.
Sometimes your bruxism might be the result of medication, in which case your dentist might suggest that your doctor alter the medication that you're taking.
Medication might also be used to help treat your bruxism. A doctor can prescribe you muscle relaxers to take before you hit the hay at night, but this is only a temporary fix.
The important thing is maintaining routine dental checkups. They can assess the condition of your teeth every time that you come in, ensuring that you're keeping with good oral health and proper oral hygiene practices.
Teeth Grinding: Find Trusted Dentists Near You
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide about what bruxism is and how dentists near you can help treat it, it's time to schedule a routine checkup.
Take the time to read this article for more information on the top 10 tips for better dental health in 2022. To get started, please call us directly at 289-275-4756 and we will be happy to assist you further.