Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition that affects both children and adults. Many people don’t realize they are grinding their teeth until it causes damage like worn or cracked teeth. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of teeth grinding and what you can do to treat it. Here are three facts about teeth grinding that you should know.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Although the exact cause of bruxism is not known, several factors can contribute to teeth grinding. These include stress, sleep deprivation, misaligned teeth or jaw issues, certain medications, dietary habits, and lifestyle choices like smoking or drinking alcohol. It’s important to address any underlying conditions if you suspect they may be contributing to your teeth grinding.
How Common Is Sleep Bruxism
Sleep bruxism, or the grinding of teeth during sleep, is much more common in children and young adults than it is in middle-aged and older people. The exact number of individuals who experience this phenomenon is not known because many do not realize they are grinding their teeth while asleep.
The prevalence of sleep bruxism in children can vary widely, as studies have put the figure at anywhere between 6-50%. It has even been observed in infants whose first set of teeth has just come out. As for adolescents, one estimate puts the rate of nighttime teeth grinding at around 15%. For those aged 40 to 44 years old, approximately 8% reportedly grind their teeth during sleep. Finally, only 3% of older adults are believed to suffer from this issue.
Although there is no single cause for sleep bruxism, certain factors may contribute to it. These include stress and anxiety, misaligned teeth and jaw structure, changes in hormones during puberty, use of certain medications (such as antidepressants), and depression. Additionally, family history may play a role as well; if one or both parents experienced this problem when they were younger, then their children might be more likely to develop it too.
Sleep bruxism can lead to a variety of physical health problems such as headaches, sensitive or worn-out tooth enamel, cracked fillings, or dental crowns/bridges caused by excessive force on them while grinding takes place. In some cases, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can develop due to the strain placed on jaw muscles that support the lower jawbone when clenching or grinding occurs. Also, mental health issues such as stress and insomnia may arise due to disruptions in sleeping patterns caused by teeth-grinding episodes at night.
Treatment options range from lifestyle modifications (such as controlling stress levels) to various types of therapy (including muscle relaxation techniques) to dental options such as wearing a custom mouth guard during sleep which helps protect against damage caused by clenching/grinding throughout the night
How Can I Tell If I’m Grinding My Teeth?
Teeth grinding usually happens unconsciously during sleep so most people don’t realize they are doing it until they start noticing the effects on their oral health. Common signs of bruxism include chipped or broken teeth, jaw pain, headaches or earaches in the morning, facial muscle fatigue after waking up from a night’s sleep, and sensitive or sore gums. Your dentist in Simpsonville, South Carolina will be able to diagnose whether you have signs of bruxism by examining your mouth for any damage caused by grinding your teeth at night.
How Is Bruxism Treated?
Treatment for bruxism depends on the severity of the condition but generally includes lifestyle modifications such as avoiding caffeine before bedtime and practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation to reduce stress levels. In addition, your dentist may recommend wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard while sleeping which helps protect your teeth from further damage caused by nighttime clenching or grinding. Depending on the severity of your case, surgery may also be an option but this is usually reserved for more severe cases where other treatments have failed.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of bruxism can help identify if you are suffering from this condition and get treatment before permanent damage occurs to your teeth and gums. If you think you may be experiencing any symptoms associated with teeth grinding such as jaw pain or sensitivity when chewing food then it’s best to speak with a dentist who can help diagnose the problem and provide treatment options tailored specifically for you. Taking care of yourself now will help ensure that future generations enjoy better oral health too!