Bruxism is a condition in which people grind, gnash or clench their teeth. Most common is sleep Bruxism, which occurs at night when a person grinds or clenches their teeth unconditionally during the sleep cycle. Unfortunately, large amounts of people today have this condition but are unaware of it. Because it can happen subconsciously, it is not always easily detected. Do you ever wake up with a headache? Are your muscles aching? Or perhaps you awake with a jaw that is paining? These are signs that you could have bruxism. If so, Kerrisdale Dental has something for you. Keep reading to find out the causes and treatments because this condition can be more serious than most people assume.
Doctors and experts are not entirely sure what causes Bruxism. There are the logical conclusions however, like anxiety and stress. If you are naturally an anxious person your body may resort to jaw clenching and teeth grinding to relieve the stress. Other causes could be more serious and could relate to sleep disorders such as apnea. Professionals have noted that people who consume large amounts of caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol are more susceptible to Bruxism.
Another reason why people would grind their teeth at night could be to try and open their air passages. When a person reaches deep sleep, all the muscles in their body are relaxed, including the tongue. Because the tongue almost doubles in size when it relaxes it could close the airway, some scientists say. Grinding the teeth is one of the body’s ways to open that airway in order to get oxygen.
The treatment option will depend on the cause for the Bruxism. If it is caused by stress and anxiety or eating habits, then it is necessary to take a look at your lifestyle. Perhaps using exercise as a stress reliever and changing your diet to avoid certain foods could solve your uncontrollable teeth grinding. As mentioned before, a sleeping disorder could also cause it – in which case you may need to get the sleeping disorder treated in order to solve the Bruxism.
There are alternative options if the teeth grinding continues in your sleep. If none of the natural remedies work, such as putting a warm cloth over your jaw to relax the muscle before you go to sleep, then you can use a customised device. These are known as Mandibular Advancement Devices and they help in extreme cases of Bruxism.
Teeth grinding is not something that should be taken lightly. It can lead to serious problems – it can damage your teeth by fracturing, loosening, and even causing them to fall out. In some instances, the teeth grinding has caused TMJ and has even changed the facial structure of some people. If you think that you may have a problem with Bruxism, make sure you get it sorted out. A problem like this can cause damage to your teeth. Save money, save your smile, and save your time – go and see a doctor if you grind your teeth. Bruxism is not a friend; it is a foe.