Tooth grinding (or bruxism as it’s known in technical terms) is a problem that affects more people than most people realize – you may be one of them. In fact, unless you’re a bruxism sufferer, you may wonder what the big deal is. After all, they’re teeth. They grind together every time you take a bite! The fact is, it’s much more serious than that. Here are five facts anyone who suffers from persistent grinding of the teeth ought to know, but be warned, reading beyond this point may send you sprinting to your dentist’s office! Ready? Here we go…
Grinding Your Teeth Doesn’t Just Hurt Your Pearly Whites
While most cases of bruxism are mild and temporary things, severe and / or protracted grinding of the teeth (which can be brought on by such things as medications, neurological issues, and more) can impact much more than you might think. For instance, bruxism can develop into TMJ, a condition which causes jaw tension, mandibular joint damage, ear and / or headaches, and more. Of course, the damage to your teeth can’t be ignored; bruxism can lead to cracks in your enamel, chipped teeth, and even abfraction cavities.
Teeth Grinding is Stress-Related
Ever clench your jaw and grind your teeth in frustration? Stress, anger, fear, or even the classic “hard charger” / “Type A” personality can contribute to an episode of bruxism. It’s not just road rage or the annoying girl in HR that can trigger it, though. Preliminary research points to caffeine consumption and smoking as potential causes of this issue, particularly if you engage in them late at night.
Age is Irrelevant
While it’s true that children grind their teeth much more than adults do (it’s a developmental thing), bruxism doesn’t make age-related distinctions. In fact, because of the above-mentioned emotional triggers and hereditary influence – bruxism tends to run in families, oddly enough – adults who’ve never even heard of chronic tooth grinding can develop the condition just as easily as a toddler might, with all of the attendant signs and symptoms.
You Probably Don’t Even Know You’re Doing It
Yep, you heard right – most teeth grinders / bruxism sufferers aren’t even aware that they have a problem. This is likely a consequence of the predominately nocturnal presentation of this condition; the first notion many folks have of a problem is an annoyed significant other. Inexplicable aches and pains in the head & neck are also warning signs.
You Can Do Something About It!
While grinding your teeth can cause a truckload of issues for the sufferer and their loved ones alike, the best part of this problem is how easy it is to solve! A quick trip to your dentist and the application of a mouth guard is usually all it takes to nix a case of bruxism forevermore.
Now that you know all about teeth grinding / bruxism and all the trouble it can cause, what are you waiting for? If you or a loved one think you may suffer from this condition, then get to your local Beverly Hills dentist ASAP! They’ll have you sorted out in no time. Until then, thanks for reading!