What to do for teeth grinding?
What is Bruxism (teeth grinding)?
Bruxism (BRUK-siz-um) is the medical name for the unconscious habit of constantly grinding or clenching your teeth throughout the day and even during sleep! Bruxism can be painful and frustrating and can really interfere with your daily life. Severe teeth grinding can cause frequent headaches, jaw disorders and even damaged teeth.
Why am I grinding my teeth?
You may be grinding your teeth for a variety of reasons. Common causes include:
- Stress and anxiety: disturbed patterns of sleeping and eating, poor concentration, excessive worrying
- Abnormal alignment of teeth: Upper and lower teeth aren’t aligned correctly
- Side effect from medication: Certain medications, including some anti-depressants may cause bruxism
- Sleep apnea (sleep disorder): A sleep disorder that affect breathing during sleep is believed to be linked to sleep bruxism
How best can I manage my teeth grinding?
As there are many reasons that you may be teeth grinding, it is important to visit your dentist for an examination. Your dentist will discuss with you a treatment plan to manage your teeth grinding. They may suggest that you use a splint or mouth guard at night to protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding. If the reason for your teeth grinding is because of an abnormal alignment, then your dentist may suggest dental correction to align any teeth that need correcting. Either way, the first step is a trip to your friendly dentist for a check-up.
- Stress and anxiety – Stress management strategies; exercise, healthy diet and regular sleep
- Abnormal alignment of teeth – Dental correction
- Side effect from medication – Consult with your treating GP about medication management
- Sleep apnea (sleep disorder) - Consult with your treating GP or visit a Sleep Disorders Clinic
Whatever the cause of your teeth grinding, the first step is a trip to your friendly dentist for a consultation.
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