Teeth grinding is medically known as bruxism and can occur at night or even during the day. Bruxism can have a lot of different causes but doctors admit that it is not fully understood. Some possible causes of your teeth grinding are:
• Anxiety or stress
• Frustration, anger, or other suppressed emotions
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
• Misalignment of the jaw
• Abnormal sleep cycles or changes to an accustomed sleep cycle
• Pain in other parts of the body
• Normal growth of the teeth and jaws during childhood
• Medical disorders such as Parkinson’s disease
• Side effect of medications, especially those for depression
You are a step ahead of many people who grind their teeth in their sleep. Most people who experience night bruxism do not even realize they are doing it. These people may wake up with a sore jaw or a headache, but they never know how it originated. Now that you know you grind your teeth it is important to talk to your dentist or doctor about it before you experience further symptoms. If left untreated, bruxism can cause teeth to break, become loose in their sockets, or fall out altogether. Grinding can also wear teeth down so they are nothing more than stumps. If you have had any dental work done before, excessive teeth grinding can ruin the work. Bridges, crowns, and implants are especially susceptible to bruxism. If it continues, full dentures will be required. In extreme cases, bruxism can affect the upper jaw near the ears and cause partial or complete hearing loss.
There are some things you can do at home that can help you to stop grinding your teeth. The first thing is to avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol tends to make it worse. Do not chew on things other than food. Even gum can make your jaw so used to the motions necessary for grinding that it will continue in your sleep. If you grind your teeth during the day, put your tongue between your upper and lower teeth when you feel the urge coming on. Holding a warm pack or warm washcloth to your jaw before sleep can loosen the jaw muscles so they do not tense up.
Posted 4619 day ago