Grinding your teeth is more common than you think. You may have had no idea that you suffer from bruxism, which is the proper name for what most people know as tooth grinding. Many people only find out they have a problem when it is pointed out to them by a partner.
Bruxism can be quite serious, while you may not even realise you are grinding your teeth as you sleep, there are tell-tale signs you may experience during waking hours which can direct you towards this very common condition which affects thousands of people around the world. Some of the symptoms of tooth grinding include facial pain, headaches and worn down teeth.
The problem is that as you grind your teeth, you wear them down. This may cause long term or permanent problems. Some of the oral problems you experience may even require dental treatment in the long run.
Tooth grinding can also result in fractured teeth and broken fillings, both of which can cost you money in the long run. No one wants to spend more time at the dentist than they have to, but according to Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, suffering from bruxism, can have you visiting the dentist a lot more than you would have liked.
It is important that if you notice your teeth are wearing down, your teeth are sensitive or you find you have pain in your jaw when waking, then it’s advisable to seek dental help and identify if you suffer from tooth grinding and what you can do to rectify the problem, reduce the pain and ensure your teeth benefit as a result.
Tooth grinding is often caused by stress and anxiety. People who suffer from sleep apnoea, also find that they suffer from bruxism. Sleep apnoea is another very common sleep disorder which leaves you feeling as though you haven’t slept. Lack of sleep causes stress and stress can lead to grinding your teeth, wearing them down and having to visit the dentist.
There are a number of treatment options to help you manage your bruxism effectively. In most instances the dentist will give you a mouth guard. Dr Tariq Drabu advised that the patient will wear the mouth guard at night when sleeping, while it doesn’t treat the grinding, it does reduce the damage that is caused to the teeth when they are pushed and ground against each other. A mouth guard can take care of the long term effects this condition offers.
It is also a good idea that if you love caffeine and spend your days drinking coffee and adding caffeine to your diet to manage the daily challenges you face, then it’s time to cut back. Increased caffeine can encourage teeth grinding, which in turn could be avoided if you chose a different drink, such as water.
Try and avoid alcohol wherever possible. If you find that your tooth grinding is getting worse on a daily basis, then cutting back on alcohol can be a great way to eliminate the grinding and help save you teeth in the long run.
What you may not realise is that it is very common for children to suffer from tooth grinding. Why children have this condition is unknown and in most instances they grow out of it as they age.
The most common reason why children grind their teeth is improper tooth alignment. Ensure you give your children plenty of water to keep them hydrated and dehydration can result in tooth grinding in children.