Are you concerned about grinding your teeth at night? Maybe you wonder if your partner or children are doing it?
Teeth grinding, or “bruxism” as it is known in the dental profession, is a more common problem than you may expect. The main problem from a dental point of view is that by grinding teeth at night, they can be worn down over time.
Grinding one’s teeth or clenching the jaw muscles, is often anxiety or stress-related problem. Most people who clench their teeth together, especially while sleeping, are unaware that they are doing it. Teeth grinding is more likely to occur involuntarily when someone is concentrating or even when watching the television.
Other causes of teeth grinding can include side effects of medicines, sleep disorders, and other lifestyle factors such as recreational drugs or even an excessive amount of caffeine!
What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Teeth Grinding?
Some of the more common signs that you have been grinding your teeth include:
- Facial pain
- Jaw pain or stiffness in the jaw joint
- Jaw muscle pain
- Disruption to sleep
And in more prolonged or severe cases:
- Broken teeth
- Broken fillings
- Worn-down teeth
- Increased teeth sensitivity
The initial signs of teeth grinding listed above will usually disappear quite quickly once bruxism treatment has been successful. However, the long-term damage by extra wear and tear caused by grinding teeth together may need dental attention and repair.
When to See A Dentist or GP About Teeth Grinding
You might consider getting treatment for teeth grinding if your jaw, face, or ears are often painful, especially in the mornings. It could also be a good idea to see a professional if you are waking yourself up from the noise, or your partner says they can hear you grinding your teeth at night.
Visiting a dentist is also strongly recommended, especially if your teeth are showing signs of wear and tear due to grinding. Finding a solution, or at least an option to prevent tooth damage should be a priority in this case.
Teeth Grinding and Children
If one of your children is grinding their teeth at night, it can be for the same reasons as adults, but might also be related to pain caused by new teeth coming through. Teeth grinding can also be indicators of some other medical conditions such as ADHD and cerebral palsy, although this is exceedingly rare.
If you are concerned about yourself or a family member involuntarily grinding their teeth, you can book an appointment for advice and recommendations on how to approach this issue from one of our friendly dentists at our dental clinic in Koo Wee Rup.