Stress and anxiety often contribute to teeth grinding.
Do you often wake up with a sore jaw? Do you suffer from unexplained facial and neck pain? These could all be signs that you grind your teeth at night. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common dental concern. But many people are unaware that they actually grind their teeth or clench their jaw, as these actions often occur during sleep.
Unfortunately, teeth grinding can cause considerable damage to the teeth, as well as the facial muscles and joints. For this reason, it’s important to determine the cause of the issue, and to have it resolved as soon as possible. Read on to find out what causes teeth grinding and what you can do about it if it’s affecting your oral health and overall sense of wellbeing…
How do you know if you grind your teeth?
In many cases, teeth grinding occurs during sleep, so you might not even know that you are doing it. There are, however, a few signs that could indicate that you are struggling from bruxism. If, for example, you often wake up with a headache or a sore jaw, it is possible that you have been grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw throughout the night. Other possible symptoms of bruxism include facial and neck pain; tooth sensitivity that is triggered by hot or cold drinks; earache; toothache; and sore gums.
Your dentist may pick up on the issue before you experience any symptoms. When you go for a routine check-up, they might notice excessive wear and tear on your teeth, which is often a tell-tale sign that you grind your teeth.
Does stress cause teeth grinding?
Stress and anxiety may cause you to grind your teeth and clench your jaw. And it’s no secret that stress affects many of us in one form or another. So, if you suspect that you grind your teeth or clench your teeth because of the tension that you feel, it’s important that you try to find ways to relax. Breathing exercises can be helpful, as can regular exercise, meditation, and behavioural therapy. You might also consider doing jaw exercises on a daily basis — chat to your dentist about how best to stretch and strengthen the jaw muscles.
Although stress is often a contributing factor, teeth grinding is most often caused by an abnormal or misaligned bite. The issue can also be caused by a sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnoea. No matter what the cause of the problem, it is always advisable to see your dentist if you have noticed any of the possible signs of teeth grinding so that they can get to the bottom of the issue and recommend a suitable treatment plan. This will alleviate any pain that you are struggling with and prevent further damage to your teeth.
What harm does teeth grinding cause?
If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to some serious oral health problems. As the teeth become more and more worn down over time, they become increasingly prone to fractures. In severe cases, one may even experience tooth loss because of weak and damaged teeth.
The habit can also cause severe jaw pain, as well as damage to the facial muscles and joints.
How can we help?
If you often wake up with sore teeth or jaw pain and you suspect that you grind your teeth at night, we encourage you to come in and see us. We will perform a thorough assessment of your entire mouth and determine the cause of the grinding, as well as the extent of the damage to your teeth. We offer a range of treatments designed to address the effects of teeth grinding.
At Access Dental Care, we offer grinding appliances, which are custom-made to reduce the impact of grinding and clenching. We also offer orthodontic treatments for patients with an imperfect bite. If your teeth have been damaged and weakened by your grinding habit, your dentist may recommend that you have one or more dental crowns placed in order to repair and strengthen your teeth.
To find out more about the grinding appliances and other treatments we offer at Access Dental Care, please have a look here.
If you would like to arrange an appointment, please give us a call on (08) 9485 0600 or get in touch with us here.