Are you guilty of grinding your teeth when the stress of life bogs you down? Worried about the long term effects this may have on your teeth? Well, the good news is that you’re far from alone. Bruxism, or regularly grinding teeth, is a phenomenon that impacts around 8% of the population. Interestingly, teeth grinding is most common among people under the age of 65 and can often be observed in small children. So, what causes teeth grinding and what can be done to treat it?
The most common reasons for teething grinding, especially in adults, are stress and anxiety. Many people may not even realize they are clenching or grinding their teeth until they begin experiencing negative side effects. The reason for this is most likely that teeth grinding largely occurs during sleep. While stress is the leading cause of bruxism, there are a few other culprits that can be equally to blame. People who suffer from disorders like sleep apnea are more likely to experience teeth grinding during the night. Additionally, bruxism can be the result of either an overbite or underbite and in smaller children can be the result of incoming adult teeth.
Clenching or grinding your teeth might seem natural and harmless, but it can wreak havoc on your teeth and result in other unpleasant side effects. Some of the most common complaints from those who suffer from teeth grinding are a sore or tight jaw and increased tooth sensitivity, as a result of patients wearing down on their tooth enamel. In more extreme cases, patients may even suffer fractured or chipped teeth if the grinding continues over a long period of time.
If possible, the best course of action is always to prevent further issues related to teeth grinding by developing a plan to combat this behavior. That may seem tricky since the majority of people who grind their teeth are unaware that they’re doing it to begin with. However, there are a number of steps you can take to alleviate symptoms related to bruxism. Developing a plan to cope with on-going stress using healthy coping mechanisms such as getting enough exercise, practicing mindfulness or seeking additional help can be a great place to start. Practicing proper sleep hygiene, like wearing a mouthguard, is another excellent way to prevent any sleep disorders from resulting in an accompanying teeth grinding issue. Most importantly, maintaining regular check ups with your family dentist to help assess and treat any complications related to teeth grinding is essential to preventing further tooth damage. This is especially true if you’re concerned that your children may be grinding their teeth at night. Dr. Julie Liberman DDS of Great Neck Dental Care NY proudly serves patients of all ages in the Great Neck area, spanning New Hyde Park, Floral Park, Douglaston, Jericho, Roslyn, etc. Book your checkup today to determine if bruxism is affecting your oral hygiene.
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