Associated with stress and frustration, grinding your teeth is a common occurrence and can be damaging to your overall dental health in extreme cases, even though there are now treatments available. In the dentistry world, we call it Bruxism which describes the act of grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw. Today, we’ll look at the causes, effect and treatments for this common scenario.
People can often grind their teeth and experience no side-effects and much of the damage is done when asleep ,where it’s believed most cases occur subconsciously.
Let’s look at the causes, effects and treatments for Bruxism
- Causes – it’s believed that about 70% of Bruxism cases that occur during sleep are directly related to stress and anxiety. There is also evidence to suggest a connection between the condition Sleep Apnoea and Bruxism. Lifestyle is also a contributory factor with reports that excess alcohol intake, use of recreational drugs and smoking will increase your risk.
- Effects – the impact of Bruxism on dental health can range from serious dental reconstruction in severe cases to regular headaches in less serious scenarios. From cracked tooth enamel to excessive wear and tear on the teeth, it can be a source of real discomfort and pain. In very severe cases, tooth loss and enlargement of your jaw muscles is a possibility.
- Treatment can be tricky but with skilled advisors and practitioners, there are a range of options. The initial lifestyle changes are ones that you make yourself. Cutting down on alcoholic intake is a good idea and by stopping smoking and taking recreational drugs, you’ll improve your overall dental health automatically anyway. Aside from that, mouth guards and mouth splints may be fitted and other therapies are also an option to help you manage this complicated condition.
Each case is different and we would urge you to talk to your dentist and discuss the scale of the problem and what you can do to resolve it. At Walkinstown Dental Surgery, we have seen many cases over the years and if this is something you suffer from, we have the knowledge and experience to care for you.