Many times, we see people grinding their teeth, which makes them look furious and keeps us wondering why they are always so angry! But teeth grinding is not done on purpose, it is an involuntary action. Sometimes people don't even realize that they are grinding their teeth! Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, in medical terms, is a condition in which a person grinds, clenches or gnashes his teeth. This condition is generally seen at night but can also be seen during the day. Teeth grinding should be treated in time as it can lead to damaged teeth, headaches and jaw disorders. Let's see the causes, followed by measures on how to stop teeth grinding.
Teeth Grinding Causes
There are various reasons for teeth grinding which are given below. These causes will help you to find a suitable treatment to stop grinding your teeth.
- Stress is said to be the main cause of teeth grinding. People have different ways of relieving stress, teeth grinding is said to be one of them. People seen grinding their teeth are mostly introvert, who do not generally show express their feelings. But like other people, they also need to relieve stress and so they get into the habit of teeth grinding. Mostly, they are not even aware of it.
- Teeth grinding is a common symptom of certain diseases which occurs due to complications in them. Parkinson's, or Huntington's disease are two such diseases.
- A disrupted sleep cycle is the reason for teeth grinding in some cases. People who experience disturbed sleep tend to grind teeth in their sleep. The reason for this is said to be the over-active subconscious processes of chewing. Chewing is controlled by certain processes, which are not active during sleep and so the chewing activity is not controlled. This leads to teeth grinding.
- Abnormal alignment of teeth, known as malocclusion can also be one of the causes of teeth grinding.
- People who tend to suppress their anger, unconsciously give vent to their anger through teeth grinding.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
As stated earlier, teeth grinding is an involuntary action and so many times, people are not aware of it. Here are some symptoms of teeth grinding.
- If the tooth enamel is worn out or broken off or flattened.
- Pain in the jaw or jaw muscles.
- Indents on the tongue
- Enlarged muscles of jaw
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Chewed cheek tissue inside the mouth
- Chronic facial pain
- Ringing in the ear (Tinnitus)
- Neck pain
How You Can Put an End to Teeth Grinding
Now that you know about the causes and symptoms of teeth grinding, let's see how to stop teeth grinding at night as well as during the day. The treatments for teeth grinding depend mostly on the cause.
- As stated earlier, stress is the major reason behind teeth grinding, which is why the most effective treatment will be avoiding excessive stress. Also, learn other ways to relieve stress such as meditation or breathing exercises. Yoga is also a good option to channelize stress in a positive way.
- Mouth guards or splints will prevent damage of teeth, but take dental advice on this. He will suggest mouth guards or splints, depending on the damage caused.
- While sleeping, hold a moist and warm cloth on your cheek, near the earlobe. This is an effective remedy to stop teeth grinding in sleep.
- If teeth grinding is caused by dismantled teeth, fix them. Once the teeth are in proper shape, teeth grinding will stop automatically.
- Keep a check on your habit of teeth grinding. Once you realize, you are grinding your teeth, it will be easy to control it. It is like a habit that you have to resolve to get rid of.
- Jaw exercises are also a way to stop grinding teeth while sleeping.
- Stop eating too much of chewing gum if you are suffering from the problem of teeth grinding. Our teeth get used to the constant clenching, because of chewing gum which makes it more likely for us to grind teeth any time.
There are no specific medicines available for teeth grinding, but your dentist can suggest a few remedies. Relaxation and self-control are the two keys to stop teeth grinding at night as well as during the day.