Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding (bruxism)

How to Stop Teeth Grinding

Are you or a loved one experiencing teeth grinding? This common habit can cause jaw pain, tooth wear, headaches, and other potential consequences.

If you’re looking for ways to stop teeth grinding, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the various aspects of teeth grinding and provide practical tips and strategies to help you overcome this habit.

What is Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)?

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is characterized by the unconscious habit of clenching the teeth, grinding, gnashing, or gritting when not chewing. This habitual behaviour can have far-reaching consequences, affecting the teeth, jaw, and surrounding structures of the head. As a medical and dental issue, teeth grinding requires attention and treatment to prevent potential complications.

Bruxism often occurs during sleep and is associated with forceful movements of the jaw, including lateral and protrusive movements. This habit can cause significant wear and tear on the teeth, particularly the molars, and may also contribute to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is caused by several factors. Some common causes of bruxism include:

  • Stress: Stress triggers the body’s “fight or flight” response, which can cause jaw muscles to tense up and lead to teeth grinding and clenching. Stress can also disrupt sleep patterns, including insomnia, causing people to wake up during the night and engage in teeth grinding as a way to cope with stress and anxiety. Additionally, stress can lead to hormonal changes in the body, affecting jaw muscles and contributing to bruxism. Overall, stress can lead to bruxism through a combination of physiological, psychological, and cognitive factors.
  • Rage, frustration, and suppressed anger: When we feel frustrated, angry, or rage, we often clench our fists or teeth. When these intense emotions are not adequately addressed or processed, they can manifest as teeth-grinding during sleep.
  • Aggressive personality: Individuals with aggressive personality traits may be more susceptible to teeth grinding. They tend to express their anger and frustration openly and outwardly. As a natural extension of this behaviour, they may experience teeth grinding as a physical manifestation of their anger expression.
  • Sleep disorders: Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia can disrupt our sleep patterns, leading to teeth grinding as a way to cope with stress and anxiety. These disorders can also contribute to bruxism.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Traumatic events, such as a car accident or physical abuse, can lead to teeth grinding as a way to cope with the emotional and psychological impact of the event.
  • Mental health: Conditions like anxiety, depression, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can cause teeth grinding as a way to cope with stress, anxiety, and emotional distress. When we experience these mental health issues, we may grind our teeth as a way to release pent-up tension and emotions, which can provide temporary relief from our symptoms.
  • Abnormal teeth alignment: Malocclusion, or abnormal teeth alignment, is a physical cause of teeth grinding. Dental experts assert that misaligned teeth may involuntarily grind against each other when they come into contact. This is another potential cause of bruxism, although its relationship to bruxism has not been conclusively proven through clinical studies.

Harmful Effects of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can have adverse consequences for our oral health. When we grind our teeth, we can cause damage to our teeth, gums, and jaw, leading to a range of problems, from tooth sensitivity to chronic pain. The following listed common adverse effects of bruxism:

Image shows the damaging effects of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, such as fractured tooth, erosion of teeth, loss of enamel from chewing surfaces of teeth, flattened tooth surfaces, loosened teeth.
Comparison of Normal Teeth to Grinded Teeth
  • Facial and jaw pain
  • Fracturing and/or erosion of teeth
  • Enamel loss from the chewing surfaces of teeth
  • Flattened tooth surfaces
  • Loosened teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Chronic headaches
  • Sleep deprivation (for sufferer and/or bed partner)
  • Risk of developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

Treatment for Teeth Grinding

Are you struggling with bruxism and its emotional and physical toll? Don’t suffer in silence. Step into a world of healing at Ministry of Therapy, where our experienced therapists offer a range of effective therapies for a holistic approach to your well-being. Your path to relief starts here.

Fill out the contact form below to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you.

We look forward to helping you overcome bruxism and achieve a more peaceful, stress-free life. Let’s take control of your oral health and well-being now!

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