Grinding Teeth at Night? Read to Stop!

grind your teeth

Teeth grinding or bruxism, is the conscious or unconscious grind or clenching of teeth. This condition can affect adults and children and can occur during day or night. Most commonly it occurs during the night. Sleep bruxism considered a sleep-related movement disorder. Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.

What happens in Bruxism or Teeth Grinding?

grind your teeth
You may have sleep bruxism. It is important to know the signs of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.

The physical symptoms are often related to the jaw and teeth. Teeth might look worn down or could chipped. Children who grind their teeth usually complain of sore jaw, specifically when they wake up or when they are chewing. Teeth grinding can lead to headaches, earaches and facial pain. Excessive grinding may cause temporomandibular joint problems.

Some people may grind their teeth and may not even aware of it due to no symptoms and only brought to their notice by their family member since they have heard them doing it while they are asleep.

Bruxism in children is more common in those diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder or health issues, such as cerebral palsy. Certain medicines can also cause it where as in some children teeth grinding occurs because their teeth not aligned properly.

Teeth Grinding can be Attributed to the following;

  1. Anxiety
  2. Stress
  3. Tension
  4. Depression
  5. Eating disorder
  6. Bite disturbances

What are the effects of Bruxism?

On Natural Dentition.

The grinding can wear down tooth enamel and if left untreated this could include sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks. The natural tooth shows a flatter appearance.

On X-rays the bone destroyed, a specific arch shaped pattern. Usually in such cases the bite first shifts to the back teeth and then ultimately shifts to the front teeth. As the load on the front teeth increases so they start to chip. This process repeats and then slowly all the teeth worn off.

A dentist would easily be able to recognize your teeth grinding habit just by clinical examination. Stress related teeth grinding in children and adults can avoided by setting a calming bed time routine and getting to the root of emotional problems.

On Fixed Prosthesis.

If your treatment have done, then the prosthesis may either fixed over abutment teeth or implant. In such cases the way the load, managed also differs. The occlusal bite usually given on the premolar and molars. But due to excess grinding the bite would shift back and cause eating problems.

Use of single piece zirconia prosthesis like Bruxir, offers an advantage that they would grind. But the biggest disadvantage is the the hardness of the artificial teeth. These prosthesis would transfer and amplify the load to the natural dentition, bone, and ultimately the joint. The natural dentition or the abutment tooth have a higher chance of fracture. In case of dental implant there is a higher chance of angular resorption and implant failure, including hardware failure.

Treatment of Bruxism.

should depend on the symptoms or the underlying cause.To reduce the grinding or clenching of the teeth dentist usually advise to wear a mouth guard at night. This mouth guard customized to fit your teeth according to their various designs. They designed to work in different ways. Some of them designed to prevent damage to the teeth and some prevent the upper and lower teeth from touching to eliminate grinding.

If the cause of grinding mal-aligned teeth then the dentist would advise you to correct the same.

Steps to reduce and prevent pain related to grinding.

  1. Apply wet heat or ice to sore jaw muscles.
  2. Massage the muscles in your neck, shoulders and face.
  3. Avoid hard food such as nuts and chewing gums should also be avoided.
  4. Learn how to relax your facial muscles by stretching exercises.
  5. Reduce stress and learn relaxation techniques.

Teeth clenching or grinding is not dangerous, most children will outgrow it. If self-care steps don’t help kindly consult your dentist for proper treatment.

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7 Comments

  1. […] case of habits like pan, supari or heavy bite or bruxism, the eating surface gets worn off, re-layering done at only a fraction of the price and in very […]

  2. […] Teeth grinding: Clenching the teeth under stress or at night in deep sleep may tear down the tissue and cause loose teeth.Β  […]

  3. […] problems like implant failure, breakage of natural teeth, gum bleeding and swelling, TMJ problems, bruxism and clenching may […]

  4. This blog is so illuminating and fruitful. I have a habit of grinding my teeth at night because of stress and anxiety but now I can treat it and reduce and prevent pain.

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