What Causes Teeth Grinding?
What Is Teeth Grinding?
The medical term for it is bruxism. Grinding of the teeth usually occurs at night. When a person grits their teeth together or moves the top back and forth over the bottom, this is grinding. It can make a very disturbing sound at night that can bother spouses or roommates.
How do you know if you are grinding your teeth? Well, for one thing, you may feel pain in your jaw when you awake. This can be from the pressure of gritting your teeth and also from sliding them back and forth over each other. This pain can possibly lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain or even hearing loss.
One of the common complaints is headaches. Waking up with a headache can be unpleasant and attributed to other conditions. But, when combined with a sore jaw and problems with the teeth and gums, bruxism becomes a more likely culprit.
This type of grinding is bad for the teeth. It can wear away at the teeth and cause them to develop all sorts of problems. One is chipping. When teeth chip, it leaves areas of the inner parts of the tooth exposed. This can become a haven for bacteria leading to tooth decay.
Teeth can also be grinded down to nubs. Teeth grow out of the gums to a certain length. They touch when we chew and when we talk. Shortened teeth could need dental procedures to correct the results of the grinding: root canals, implants, crowns and even tooth pulling leading to dentures, plates or bridges.
We briefly talked about TMJ. This is the joint that attaches your jaw to the rest of your skull. It moves when you talk or chew. During the night when you grind your teeth, this joint is moving a lot and it can lead to stress and pain. When you talk during the day, you may feel this joint popping painfully.
Because of changes to the teeth owing to chipping and uneven wear, appetite is an issue for some people who grind their teeth. New-found sensitivities in teeth can cause you to have to eat on one side or the other. It can also change what types of food you eat. Loss of appetite can be a problem as it pertains to nutrition.
Grinding of the teeth is an involuntary condition that mostly occurs at night. It can be caused by stress. While the condition is not life-threatening, it can lead to problems of the head and neck that are most uncomfortable. If you suspect bruxism, talk to your dentist as soon as you can.