What’s one thing half of the population does from time to time? It’s something that according to Better Health, 5 per cent of the population do on a regular basis.
While we’re sure quite a number of habits could fall into this category, we want to talk about teeth grinding (known as bruxism).
Bruxism is the involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of teeth… as each of these words suggest, nothing we’ve just mentioned here is pretty! It’s not just something that happens during waking hours either, teeth grinding often occurs unknowingly while people are sleeping.
What causes teeth grinding?
Stress is often the main culprit… some people are prone to really grinding their teeth when they’re angry, concentrating or feeling anxious about something.
A number of symptoms commonly associated with bruxism include:
- Grinding sounds as a person sleeps.
- Pain associated with headaches, the jaw joint or ears.
- Aching teeth, especially upon waking up.
- Tightness and stiffness in the shoulders.
- Sleep disruption.
While as you can read here, the symptoms associated with teeth grinding are not at all pleasant, the impact this nasty habit can have on your teeth is really concerning. Problems can include:
- Cracked tooth enamel.
- Broken teeth.
- Strain on the jaw joint (read more about TMJ here).
- Sore jaw muscles.
- Tooth loss (one of the more severe consequences).
If tooth grinding is an issue for you or a loved one, treatment will vary depending on the symptoms at play. Some possible treatment options could include:
- Repairing tooth damage.
- Fixing fillings.
- Relaxation or stress management techniques to tackle the cause of the problem.
- A special mouthguard worn at night. The theory behind this is that the mouthguard is worn out instead of your teeth as you grind away.
As always, we suggest you make an appointment with a dentist at your nearest NovaDental clinic. Call us on 1300 584 143 to make a booking today.