You may have this condition if you grind your teeth at night.
Bruxism. You may not be familiar with this word but you might be familiar with this behaviour. If the condition exists, people tend to grind, gnash or clench their teeth while sleeping. The term "Bruxism" is a medical condition that makes you grind your teeth generally while sleeping and sometimes when you are awake causing headaches, jaw pain, and damages to the teeth. Bruxism is also a sign of sleep apnea that occurs subconsciously while sleeping, keeping the jaw from moving backward and tightening the muscles to block the airway.
Here are a few things you need to know if you are affected by bruxism,
- It can hurt more than just your teeth as the habit can weaken your enamel, increase tooth sensitivity, resulting in broken or chipped teeth.
- It is linked to stress as you may end up grinding your teeth due to tension, anxiety or frustration.
- It can happen later in life too due to sudden changes and challenges in your life causing stress which in turn becomes the main cause.
- You may not know why you’re doing it with the fact that you have been experiencing unexplained facial pain, headaches or tenderness around the jaw.
- Kids do it more but does it mean they are stressed? Certainly not, as children who tend to drool or talk at night or with the psychological disorder are most likely to grind their teeth.
- The condition is treatable without necessary treatment but in case of a severe problem a common approach like wearing a mouth guard can prevent oral damages. At times, even just by changing the way you sleep or reducing caffeine intake can minimize teeth grinding.
If you experience bruxism during the day, you can easily manage as you are mostly aware of it. There are a number of ways to control or manage teeth grinding if gritting or clenching is related to stress like,
- having a good night’s sleep
- doing Yoga
- relaxing to music
- having a warm bath before sleeping
- deep breathing
Regular dental check-ups will help you prevent and treat the condition as soon as possible before any further damage can be caused to your oral health. Fortunately, most of the dental problems like crooked, chipped, misaligned or missing teeth can easily be treated with the technological advancements in cosmetic dentistry.