It can be hard to tell whether you are grinding your teeth (Bruxism) as this usually happens during sleep. One sign you can look out for is when you always feel pain in your jaw in the morning.
If anything, ask your loved ones if they notice you grinding your teeth at night. Occasional teeth grinding is usually not as serious as other dental issues. However, if your loved ones advise you that it happens regularly, then it’s best to go see your dentist.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Here are factors that can cause people to grind their teeth:
- Misaligned teeth
- Abnormal bite
- Missing teeth
- Sleep apnea
You may be unaware that you tend to clench your teeth while sleeping. Here are telltale signs you may want to look out for:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gums pulling back or receding
- Broken, cracked, or chipped teeth
- Pain in your jaw point
- Chewing difficulties
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
Why You Should Not Ignore Teeth Grinding
According to Best Health Magazine, only about 8% of Canadians are aware they grind their teeth during sleep. However, many cases are still left unreported. If you’re advised by your loved ones that you regularly grind your teeth during sleep, don’t brush it off. See your dentist immediately so you can have your teeth and mouth checked.
Chronic teeth grinding can cause fractures or loss of teeth. When not immediately treated, it can lead to requiring treatments such as bridges, root canals, and/or dental implants.
How Do I Stop Teeth Grinding
- Learning to manage stress. Since stress and anxiety are common teeth clenching triggers, you should make a conscious effort to reduce them. Take some time off from work, unplug, and spend some time alone and with your loved ones. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can also help.
- Training your jaw to relax. Train your jaw muscles to relax by positioning the tip of your tongue between teeth.
- Wearing mouthguard. A mouth guard is a customised plastic mouthpiece that you wear on the top of your teeth. Wearing it during sleep will help prevent teeth grinding.
- Reducing caffeine intake. Cut down on drinks that contain caffeine such as chocolate and coffee. The goal is to relax the jaw muscles and as a stimulant, caffeine can keep the jaw muscles from relaxing.
- Avoiding alcoholic beverages. Alcohol content in drinks may exacerbate teeth clenching.
- Refraining from using teeth to chew objects other than food. Chewing on other objects besides food only makes you more likely to pick up teeth grinding.
- Getting enough sleep. A good night’s sleep not only makes you feel well-rested through the day. It also helps you minimise stress as you can think better and get more work done.
Do Children Grind their Teeth Too?
Teeth grinding is not exclusive to adults. Even kids can experience it. This can happen as the baby teeth and permanent teeth start to come in. However, unlike bruxism in adults, bruxism in young children seldom results in dental issues.
For older children and teens, experiencing headaches, seeing damage on their teeth, and feeling jaw pain can be possible. If your child complains about pain or discomfort, go to your dentist to have your little one’s teeth checked.
For more tips how to stop teeth grinding for you and your young ones, you may contact our team at 905-822-8880. We at Dentistry at Clarkson Village Shoppes would be happy to help you look after your family’s oral health.