Most people grind their teeth occasionally. It’s medically termed as bruxism and doesn’t always cause dental problems. However, regular bruxism or teeth grinding can easily lead to dental complications.
Many people who suffer from bruxism clench their teeth during the night when sleeping. However, some may experience teeth grinding during the waking hours as well.
Is bruxism bad for your teeth?
Whether you grind your teeth during the day or at night when sleeping, it can lead to abrasion, loosening of teeth, jaw pain, and loss of teeth. It’s because the force you generate when grinding teeth is six times the regular chewing force. Your teeth are not supposed to handle this kind of force.
Bruxism and sleep apnea
Sometimes, bruxism is related to sleep apnea. Your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen due to a blocked airway. As a defense mechanism, your brain makes your jaw muscle contract so that the airway would open, allowing more air to pass through.
Unfortunately, this defense mechanism can lead to teeth grinding. Most of the times, sleep apnea treatment will stop bruxism and dental issues that come with teeth grinding. Patients will usually be asked to wear CPAP machine to allow regular air blown through their airway when sleeping. However, you can also ask your dentist for alternative treatments if you have CPAP-resistance.
If you leave your sleep apnea untreated, it can often lead to serious health issues and complicated medical conditions. It’s important to visit your 7 Day Dentist at the earliest when you have signs of sleep apnea.
Do kids grind their teeth?
Kids often grind their teeth, especially those with ADHD. However, teeth grinding or bruxism in kids can also be related to various other things such as stress, breathing through mouth at night, dental occlusions, and sleep apnea.
Some children develop the habit of grinding their teeth as they enjoy gnashing their teeth. Others have psychological problems that lead to bruxism in kids.
Although many children grind their teeth, it doesn’t usually lead to any complication due to their teeth being baby teeth. These teeth are replaced by adult teeth and children may stop bruxism naturally by that age.
How to stop grinding your teeth (bruxism)?
Bruxism is affects people of all ages. People who brux or grind their teeth should see their dentist at the earliest. Your dentist will examine your teeth and supporting tissues. If you have jaw pain due to bruxism, your dentist will also examine your jaw muscles and TM joints. Finally, your dentist will check your jaw for bat bite (malocclusion) and examine you for sleep apnea.
Here are some additional tips that can help you reduce bruxism.
- Reduce intake of caffeine-rich foods and alcohol
- Avoid chewing other than food to stop your brain from making it a habit
- Be aware of your grinding problem and practice to prevent it, especially during the day time
- Use various home remedies to relax your jaw muscles while sleeping
If you grind your teeth, you are not alone. One out of every three persons suffer from this problem . Fortunately, your dentist at 7 Day Dental can help you with this dental problem.
At 7 Day Dental, patients who brux are first evaluated for sleep apnea. If their bruxism is due to sleep apnea, a sleep specialist at 7 Day Dental will discuss various treatments with you.
But if you are grinding your teeth due to some other reason, your dentist will evaluate you for occlusal therapy and rehabilitation to prepare custom mouth guards to help you stop grinding your teeth. In some cases, your dentist may reshape grinding surface of your teeth to reduce grinding. If your teeth need to reposition, your dentist will perform the procedure.
Call your closest 7 Day Dental office to schedule your exam today!