Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is one of the main culprits behind enamel loss. Other complications that can be attributed to the habit include tooth breakage, incessant headaches in the morning, and TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder.
The first and arguably most important step in preventing bruxism is identifying why you are doing it in the first place. If you can establish the cause and work to prevent it, you stand a good chance of stopping the habit and saving your teeth and jaws from further damage. Here are common reasons why people grind their teeth at night:
Studies show that a whopping 70 percent of all cases of teeth grinding can be attributed to anxiety, stress, mental disorders, and other psychological issues. People with aggressive, hyperactive, and aggressive personality types are more likely to experience bruxism as it is believed to be a coping strategy for anxiety and stress – just like lip biting, tooth tapping, and cheek biting.
Sleep arousals involve a rise in activity in the respiratory and cardiac systems. As a consequence, there is increased muscle activity in the jaws and that leads to the unconscious gnashing of teeth.
Sleep arousals have been shown to be more prevalent in people with other sleep disorders such as snoring, sleep paralysis, sleep talking, and sleep apnea. You can stop bruxism by having these conditions treated.
Other less common causes of teeth grinding include malocclusion, or the abnormal alignment of teeth, and acid reflux.
Risk factors for teeth grinding may also come from the use of substances such as caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and certain medications
Bruxism specialists are able to establish the exact cause of your problem by taking you through tests and reviewing your lifestyle and medical histories. Schedule a consultation appointment with our specialist at Gavrila Dental by calling us or filling out and submitting an appointment form on our website.