There is a chance you grind and clench your teeth occasionally. That is normal and does not cause any harm to your teeth or affect your oral health. If you find yourself grinding your teeth all the time, however, you have a medical condition referred to as bruxism.
What Causes Bruxism?
Occasional teeth grinding may be caused by stress or anxiety, and this should cause no alarm. Bruxism, on the other hand, usually occurs during sleep and is caused by an abnormal bite, a missing or misaligned tooth or a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea.
Since grinding occurs at night, you might not realize you have bruxism unless someone tells you. This makes it a challenge to detect the condition.
How Can You Tell You Grind Teeth?
Your loved ones will tell you if you grind your teeth, but they may not always be around to do that.
If you wake up with a dull but persistent headache or your jaws are sore every morning, this is a tell-tale sign that you may be having bruxism.
When you suspect you have bruxism, it’s always good to visit your dentist who will examine your teeth for signs of bruxism. The dentist can recognize wear and tear on your enamel as well as jaw tenderness due to teeth grinding. The dentist will also identify the cause of bruxism and recommend the best treatment.
Should You Worry About Teeth Grinding?
You might not feel the effects of teeth grinding until its too late. After years of grinding, however, you might end up with fractured, loose or no teeth. In such a case, you will need bridges, root canals, dentures, crowns or implants.
In severe cases, teeth grinding can affect your jaws causing temporomandibular disorders which might even change the shape of your face.
There is, therefore, need to get your grinding checked before it messes your jaw affecting your speech and ability to eat.
How to Stop Teeth Grinding in Long Island?
If, after assessment, your dentist confirms that you have bruxism, a teeth guard will be recommended. This guard will protect your teeth while you sleep at night. You can shop now on Pro Teeth Guard if you have the condition before it worsens.
While the teeth guard keeps your teeth protected, it does not stop grinding. To stop grinding, you have to treat the root cause.
If your grinding comes as a result of anxiety or stress, talk to your dentist or a counselor on how to manage stress.
If the condition is a result of a sleeping disorder, get treatment for the disorder.
You can also try the tips below;
- Cut your caffeine and alcohol intake
- Practice not grinding
- Avoid chewing anything that is not food such as pen lids
- Massage your jaws with a warm cloth from the skin in front of your ear lobes
If these tips do not help you get rid of teeth grinding, see your dentist and he will establish the cause of bruxism. All the while, wear your teeth guard to protect your teeth and jaws.
Does Bruxism Affect Children?
Up to 33 percent of children suffer from bruxism. The condition is common in children as it is in adults. However, grinding in children should not be cause for alarm. Normally, a child will grind their teeth when their first teeth come out and when their permanent teeth come out. After that, the condition will disappear.
However, if the condition does not disappear long after the permanent teeth show, you might need the intervention of a dentist. If your child complains of headaches, jaw pains and teeth sensitivity and you can notice their teeth are worn, see a dentist.
You can reduce the occurrence of grinding for your kid by:
- Ensuring they are not stressed before sleeping
- Encourage relaxing exercises to relax their muscles
- Give the child plenty of water
- Let a dentist examine your child’s teeth
Pre-school-age children do not need any intervention, and the grinding will disappear with time. However, older children will need a teeth guard, crown or any other treatment to control the condition and protect teeth.
If you or your loved one is suffering from bruxism, seek help before it affects your jaws. Even when you feel your teeth are okay, visit your Long Island dentist at least twice a year for a check-up.