Teeth grinding – known to the medical world as bruxism – is common among adults and children alike. While teeth grinding causes may be hard to pin down, they are usually signs of stress, anxiety, a sleep disorder, or a reaction to a medication.
Teeth grinding symptoms range from facial pain to headaches and earaches, from jaw pain to disrupted sleep. In prolonged cases, teeth may wear down, and fillings can be damaged.
How common is teeth grinding? Studies show that up to one-third of adults grind their teeth during the day, and one out of ten adults suffer bruxism while asleep.
If you have symptoms of teeth grinding while sleeping, it’s essential to understand the three major causes – and how to treat them. You’ll sleep better and, you won’t cause permanent tooth damage.
1. Sleep Disorders
Many people who suffer from common sleep disorders like sleep apnea (sometimes called OSA) also suffer from teeth grinding. Correlations are also being documented with other conditions.
Hyperactivity (ADHD) and sleep paralysis may also trigger teeth grinding. In addition, people who have violent dreams or regularly talk or mumble during sleep will frequently exhibit teeth grinding symptoms.
In all of these cases, patients should work with their doctor to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. That might include muscle relaxers, Botox injections (to numb the jaw muscles), or behavioral therapies.
2. Lifestyle Choices
Certain lifestyle choices appear to be linked to teeth grinding as well. Alcohol consumption, recreational drugs, smoking, and excess caffeine are likely contributors to teeth grinding.
In these cases, the answer to how to stop teeth grinding is simple. Reduce or eliminate the cause. Simpler said than done but better than a lifetime of worn and broken teeth.
Linkages between teeth grinding and taking certain kinds of prescription medicines are also being found. Among the culprits here are a class of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
That’s a mouthful so let’s say SSRIs. SSRIs are commonly prescribed antidepressants and include Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, and Sertraline.
In this case, your doctor may be able to adjust dosages or switch you to a different medication to good effect.
Solutions: Teeth Grinding Causes
Teeth grinding can lead to severe – and expensive to repair – long-term tooth, gum, and jaw problems. And it certainly doesn’t help sufferers get a good night’s sleep.
Addressing the problem means determining the underlying cause and then developing a course of treatment. In the meantime, there is a way to minimize damage.
Custom-fitted nightguards (similar to retainers) can be ordered and worn at night to minimize the effects of grinding. Talk to your dentist or work with a reputable company like Shopremi.com, which makes the process simple and affordable.
Problem to Solution
Now that you know the three most likely teeth grinding causes, talk to your health care professional. Together you can develop a course of treatment to help alleviate the problem.
In the meantime, custom nightguards can be a significant help in reducing damage and improving sleep!
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