Teeth grinding probably affects more of us than we’re aware. You may notice yourself grinding your teeth while you are stressed or anxious, but the most common time for teeth grinding to occur is while we’re sleeping.
So how are you supposed to know if you’re affected if you aren’t even awake while it’s happening?
Common symptoms of teeth grinding are jaw/face pain, frequent dull headaches, tight jaw muscles, and flattened or chipped teeth. Long term you might even see your teeth shift and become crooked.
If you’re experiencing these kinds of symptoms schedule an appointment with your local Norton Shores Dentist to see what you can do to relieve yourself of any pain or discomfort.
The factors that go into why teeth grinding occurs are numerous. Like we mentioned before stress and anxiety are big ones, but complications with the jaw itself might be playing a part into your pain. One serious issue could be with jaw alignment, if it’s aligned incorrectly you may be clenching your teeth at night. Other factors that might not be as obvious are diet, posture, and sleeping habits.
Consuming foods that are high in caffeine content are likely to increase the amount of teeth grinding that you do, such as coffee, energy drinks, and cola. Also, chewing on anything that isn’t food, such as pencils, pens, and gums makes your jaw used to being tense which will increase the amount of grinding that you do at night.
Aside from eating habits, how you carry yourself throughout the day will have an impact on teeth grinding. If you’re constantly slouching or hunching over, this will encourage your lower jaw to over hang your upper jaw causing an unalignment.
Unsound sleep can also be causing you to grind your teeth at night. There have been links found between frequent sleep arousal and teeth grinding. Having a good night’s rest might help you find comfort for your jaw.
Seek professional help when finding out if grinding is an issue with you by contacting your dentist. They will be able to provide you with the treatment necessary to get your jaw pain/ discomfort under control before your teeth become crooked and/or chipped.
Treatment usually comes in the form of a mouth guard or splints. These devices help decrease the amount of jaw activity that you have while sleeping. Unfortunately, these methods can only treat teeth grinding and not cure them. Doing yoga or other relaxing activities could actually help prevent your teeth grinding at night. Another good technique to help prevent teeth grinding is to be aware of when you’re doing it. Pick up patterns and find why you are grinding your teeth and then use this as a precaution to grinding.
Knowledge is key! Ask your dentist about what you can do to help any serious damage from occurring before its too late.