You’re probably familiar with the nails-on-a-chalkboard sound, and you would probably agree that it has an obnoxious screeching sound. It’s definitely one of those sounds that most people try to remove themselves from.
Have you ever heard the sound of teeth grinding? Bruxism, commonly referred to as teeth grinding, can make quite a commotion of sound. If you’ve ever slept next to someone who grinds their teeth, you would likely know by the horrible sound that it makes!
What Are The Symptoms Of Teeth Grinding?
The sound of teeth grinding is a giveaway, but this isn’t the only symptom that comes with it. Have you ever experienced any of these other symptoms associated with bruxism?
- Tight or sore jaw muscles
- Worn or flattened teeth
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Tooth mobility
- Dull headaches in temporal or ear regions
- TMJ popping or clicking with opening or closing your mouth
Your dentist or dental hygienist may also notice these things in your mouth and ask about them at your dental visit.
What Causes Bruxism?
Teeth grinding can come and go throughout life. Although it can be challenging to pinpoint exactly what causes one person to grind their teeth more than another, many factors can play into bruxism.
- Stress is believed to be a significant component. As stress comes and goes, you may notice that so do your bruxism symptoms.
- Tooth alignment can affect whether or not you grind your teeth. Misalignment can lead to more issues with bruxism.
- Restricted airway has also been shown to lead to teeth grinding. Bruxism can help to open up your airway and affect the oxygen flow rate. Enlarged tonsils and conditions like sleep apnea have been getting lots of research over the past several years as they seem to correlate with bruxism and not getting restful sleep.
- Nutrition and vitamin deficiencies have also been mentioned as possible tooth grinding sources.
How Can Bruxism Be Treated?
Depending on the cause of your bruxism, it can be treated in a few different ways.
Seeing a doctor specialized in this area can be beneficial for those with airway issues. They can do a thorough exam to determine if enlarged tonsils or adenoids may be a cause. They can also look at tooth and jaw alignments to see if something can be done to help your airway.
Finding ways to manage your stress better can be helpful if you are under lots of stress. Talking to your doctor about reducing your body’s stress load may be very beneficial.
While addressing the root cause of bruxism is probably the best treatment, another option is to get a bite splint made. A bite splint is custom-made to fit your teeth and is an appliance worn at night. It protects your teeth from tooth-on-tooth contact. This will save on the wear and tear of your teeth.
The vital thing to note with a bite splint is that it probably won’t take away all your other symptoms. You will likely still experience tension headaches and sore muscles related to the grinding.
Bruxism can have long-term consequences for your teeth and health. Have you been told that you grind your teeth? Do you sleep next to a loved one that makes horrible noises while sleeping? Bruxism shouldn’t be ignored, call our office, and we can find solutions to your bruxism.