Do you complain of persistent headache?
Do you experience pains in your Jaws?
Maybe, you are grinding your teeth unknowingly
Teeth Grinding, also refer to as bruxism is the involuntary clenching of teeth. It can occur at any time but it is usually common during sleep. At one time or the other , you may have had bruxism without knowing.
The following are 6 basic facts you should know about teeth grinding:
1. It is commoner in Children
About 20% to 30% of children grind their teeth, usually while asleep. You may have heard your child doing it at night. Sometimes, children will grind their teeth during the day when they feel anxious. The good news is, most children will eventually stop grinding their teeth. This often happens around the time they lose their baby teeth.
2. It hurts more than just your teeth
In most cases teeth grinding is mild. But, when it’s frequent and severe, Grinding your teeth can aggravate the joints in your lower jaw, also known as the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. This can lead to pain or tightness in the joint area, and even earaches and headaches.
3. It may be linked to stress
You may be more likely to grind or clench your teeth if you’re tense, anxious or frustrated. However, we don’t yet fully understand all of the factors that lead to teeth grinding. Drinking caffeine or smoking before bed may be a contributing cause. Teeth grinding is also associated with certain competitive or highly determined personality types. If your teeth are misaligned and your muscles are pulling your jaw into an unnatural position, you may end up grinding your teeth.
4. You may not know you’re doing it
Convinced you never grind your teeth? Since it commonly happens while you’re sleeping, many people may be unaware of it. ‘Sometimes they will deny they’re doing it, even when they have a lot of damage to their teeth and it’s pretty obvious,’ Dr. Smith says.If you have unexplained facial pain, earaches or headaches, or tenderness around the jaw joint, you could be grinding without knowing it. Often, it’s a sleep partner who will complain about being disturbed during the night by the hair-raising sound of constant grinding.
5. You can start doing it later in life
Even if you’ve never been a teeth grinder or clencher, that doesn’t mean you’ll never become one. Since stress is the main cause of bruxism, you may become a teeth grinder or clencher later on due to unexpected changes and challenges in your life.
6. It can be a sign of mental Disorder
In anxiety disorder, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be disabling. Anyone suffering from this condition may unconsciously be grinding the teeth.
7. It’s treatable
In some individuals, lifestyle modification such as reducing stress, cessation of smoking etc spontaneously stop the teeth grinding. In some individuals, visit to a dentist and eventual referral to a psychologist for counseling may be useful.
There are other advance options, which are beyond the scope of this write-up, kindly visit your dentist for more options