Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding (bruxism)

How to Stop Grinding Teeth During Sleep

Comparison of Normal Teeth to Grinded Teeth

Why do I (or loved one) grind my teeth and how can I stop it? If you’re looking for an answer to this predicament, look no farther. We have just the solution you need.

What is Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)?
Teeth grinding, clinically referred to as bruxism, refers to the compulsive, unconscious habit of grinding, gnashing, gritting and/or clenching of the teeth when a person isn’t chewing. Teeth grinding is considered a medical and a dental problem because it affects both the teeth and all of the structures surrounding it, including the head.

Bruxism mostly occurs during sleep and is associated with forceful lateral or protrusive jaw movements. Excessive teeth grinding can damage the occlusal surfaces of the teeth, particularly the molar teeth, and may contribute to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

Causes of Teeth Grinding
Doctors believe that teeth grinding is caused by a number of factors. The following lists some common causes of teeth grinding:
1. High stress levels
Stress is the most common reason for bruxism. Most doctors suppose that stress is the primary cause of teeth grinding during sleep. Stress can disrupt a person’s sleeping cycle. If a particular sleeping pattern is disrupted, the person ends up clenching their teeth unconsciously and intermittently during sleep.
2. Rage, frustration, suppressed anger
There are many instances that a person clenches his fist or teeth when he is frustrated or angry with somebody or something. Many hypnotherapists and psychologists believe that this is the reason why people clench their teeth during the day. Suppressed anger is wrath a person can’t let out and can be difficult to self-manage.
3. Aggressive personality
This factor causing bruxism is related to anger and frustration. Just like the former reason, this one also deals with one’s emotions. But unlike suppressed anger, aggressiveness is expressed anger. In this case, the person lets out all his frustration and anger towards the intended subject. This person may unconsciously grind their teeth in the process.
4. Abnormal teeth alignment
The abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth is referred to as malocclusion. This is one of the physical causes of teeth grinding. Dental experts believe that if there is something abnormal about the structure of a person’s teeth, they grind involuntarily against each other as they make contact. While this is another feasible cause of bruxism, it is yet to be confirmed with clinical studies.
5. Growth development of the teeth and jaw
This is the common reason of bruxism in children. For kids 7 years old and under, their teeth are still in their growing stages. There are a lot of instances where the actual growing of the teeth causes itchiness in the gum area, causing kids to grind their teeth. Teeth grinding becomes the body’s response to the changes happening in the jaws and the teeth.

It may also happen that as the teeth grow, the upper and lower molars don’t fit together. In an attempt to make them fit comfortably with one another, teeth grinding occurs. Bruxism in children may not be very common. However, they usually outgrow this condition as their teeth improve in structure over time.

6. Complication of another disease
There are studies showing that bruxism can be caused by another disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or Huntington disease. Parkinson’s disease is the degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which affects the person’s motor skills. Huntington’s disease, on the other hand, is a neurological disorder that is characterized by lack of movement coordination. People suffering from any of these two disorders are likely to grind their teeth either during the day or at night.
7. Drugs and medications
Several studies are being conducted to check whether certain drugs used to treat depression, as well as other similar psychiatric medications, could be the causes of bruxism. The results are yet to be published, but a lot of doctors are suspecting that these types of drugs can trigger teeth grinding.
Harmful effects of Teeth Grinding
  • 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
Hypnotherapy can effectively alleviate the root causes of teeth grinding – stress and anxiety. Treatment involves relaxation which counters the detrimental effects of stress and anxiety as well as creating triggers in the unconscious mind (also known as the subconscious mind) to relax the jaw and release tension prior to any teeth grinding thereby preventing bruxism before it even starts.

Do you want to prevent the adverse effects of teeth grinding for yourself or loved one? If you want healthier teeth and gum, more restful sleep, and better relationship, contact us now.

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