Nowadays more and more people are affected by bruxism, which is grinding or clenching your teeth. Most people probably grind their teeth from time to time. But when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis, the teeth can be damaged and other oral complications can occur. Grinding can eventually damage dental restorations, may loosen teeth and cause cracks or fractures. As the tooth enamel is worn away, the underlying layer of dentin may be exposed. This can result in tooth sensitivity.
Teeth grinding usually occurs during the night and it can be caused by stress and anxiety. It can also occur when you are awake.
If stressful situations are the major causes of bruxism, it may be helpful for you to find ways to relax, such as listening to music, reading a book, taking a walk, or seeing a physical therapist.
Your bruxism may be also related to dental problems. In this case your dentist will probably correct tooth alignment. He may suggest reshaping or reconstructing the biting surfaces with crowns for example.
If this bad habit is a side effect of some antidepressant medicines, then your doctor may give you a different drug.
An article published in the Journal of the American Dental Association suggested that teeth grinding is also associated with alcohol and tobacco use. People who drink alcohol and the smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth.
Studies have shown that not only the adults are grinding their teeth. Approximately 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth. They will stop on their own by age 13, with no damage on their teeth. But if this habit does not disappear, a dentist must be visited.
The good thing is that the damage done by bruxism can be prevented. Your dentist will recommend you to wear a night guard. This won’t stop the grinding, but it will prevent more damaged to your teeth.
Pay attention to the symptoms we mentioned above. If you have pain in your jaw, if you discover changes on your teeth, if you wake up in the morning with headaches, these may be signs that you are clenching your teeth. Decrease stress in your life, avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking in the evening, get a good night sleep and see a dentist regularly.
Call today to make an appointment. 310.647.7611 is the number you can find Dr. Arhiri. He and his team will be more than glad to provide with useful information regarding this topic. And with a consultation to see if you can name yourself a grinder.