Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a condition in which a person is squeezing or gnashing his or her teeth. It’s a quite dangerous issue since it can lead to serious complications like the wear of tooth enamel, tooth sensitivity, headaches, and even teeth loss. Bruxism can affect both children and adults. In this article, we will tell you everything you should know about teeth grinding.
What is teeth grinding
Teeth grinding is a process of gnashing teeth that appears subconsciously. Chewing movements cause a large load on the temporomandibular joint. It results in the enamel damage, as well as teeth erasure and loosening. If left untreated, it can lead to teeth loss and you may need to make an appointment with a dental implant specialist.
Moreover, teeth grinding affects the joints, muscles, nervous system of a person, and interferes with sleep. Various ailments and their combinations can underlie this ailment. That’s why a consultation with a dentist, gastroenterologist, neurologist, ENT specialist, and psychotherapist may be required.
Causes of teeth grinding
The most common causes of teeth grinding include:
- Incorrect position of the teeth
- Teeth crowding
- Improperly selected dentures and orthodontic constructions
- Temporomandibular joint diseases
People who undergo high psycho-emotional stress may experience involuntary muscle spasms during sleep. The most common cause of bruxism due to stress is the disruption of the central and peripheral nervous systems. This leads to neurological and motor disorders, as well as muscle spasms. Bruxism can also be accompanied by sleep disorders like apnea, snoring, somnambulism.
Bruxism also develops as a result of dental issues. They lead to an uneven distribution of the masticatory load and this makes the masticatory muscles to overstrain.
The most common types of bruxism
Teeth grinding can be divided into two types such as sleep and awake bruxism. Sleep bruxism appears at night when the person doesn’t control the body. It is quite dangerous because people who grind their teeth during sleep may even not know about this condition. However, if you will regularly visit the dentist’s office, your dentist will notice the excessive enamel wear and diagnose bruxism.
Awake bruxism affects people that undergo stress, anxiety, anger, and other negative emotion. A person may be awake and subconsciously grind his or her teeth. This type of teeth grinding is not so dangerous as sleep bruxism because you can easily learn how to control your body.
The most effective way to cope with bruxism is to choose a comprehensive treatment. It can include medication, psychotherapy, and dental treatment. Treatment options are usually based on the severity of the condition. Medication helps reduce the convulsive activity of muscles. Another effective option is to use protective rubber or plastic mouthguards that help prevent the effect of bruxism.
Botox injections can also be beneficial in case of bruxism. They block nerve impulses entering the muscles and relieve involuntary cramps. The effect of Botox is not permanent and requires repetition after several months. It is important to understand that Botox injections are rather a way to deal with the symptoms. Injections do not help eliminate the causes of the disease.
Prevention of teeth grinding
In order to prevent teeth grinding, you should avoid stressful situations. Moreover, if you suffer from bruxism, it id better to reduce the consumption of coffee, tea, and energy drinks that can interfere with healthy sleep. Alcohol can also affect your mental condition and lead to teeth grinding.
If you have certain dental issues and suffer from bruxism at the same time, you should make an appointment with the dentist. Your doctor will help you find out the underlying cause of teeth grinding and improves the condition of your teeth.