Bruxism (teeth grinding) – Causes and how to help yourself
Do you clench your jaw and grind your teeth when you’re stressed and anxious? Does your partner complain that you grind your teeth loudly while you sleep? If yes, you suffer from bruxism.
Although most people don’t pay attention to this condition, it shouldn’t be ignored. Learn more about bruxism, recognize the symptoms and help yourself.
Important! If you think that you suffer from bruxism, consult your doctor.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a state of unconscious teeth grinding and jaw clenching. It can lead to headaches, ear pain, damaged teeth and other problems.
More than half of all adults worldwide suffer from bruxism. About 15% of children are affected by this unpleasant condition.
If you have bruxism, you can sometimes grind your teeth while you’re awake, but it usually happens at night. Many people don’t know that they suffer from bruxism because they do the teeth grinding and jaw clenching while they’re asleep and unconscious. Therefore, it’s very important to know the symptoms of bruxism.
Symptoms of Bruxism
Some of the symptoms of bruxism are:
- Thin teeth enamel
- Teeth sensitivity to hot and cold
- Broken teeth
- Very flat surface of the teeth
- Jaw pain
- Bigger jaw muscles
- Ear pain
Causes of Bruxism
The exact causes of bruxism haven’t been determined and there are different views of what causes bruxism. The most common cause for bruxism is stress and anxiety. According to experts, people who have bruxism try to reduce their tension and stress by unconsciously grinding their teeth.
Also the causes of bruxism may be hidden anger, alcohol and caffeine, smoking, sinus problems, sleep problems, bad position of the upper and lower teeth or jaw, lack of a tooth and so on.
Bruxism – How to help yourself
Relax. Stress is the most common cause of bruxism. Find a way to get rid of stress. Choose to do it with an activity that relaxes you. You can exercise, meditate or get a regular massage.
Don’t eat or drink right before you go to sleep. If you eat or drink before bedtime, especially alcohol, it can worsen your condition. So avoid this habit.
Wear teeth guards at night. They reduce the pressure that you unconsciously put on you teeth and protects them. These teeth guards can be custom made or you can buy some sport teeth guards, but they have to be comfortable.
Put warm compresses on your face. Soak a small towel with warm water and place it on both sides of your face in the jaw area. That will relax the muscles of your jaw.
Keep your teeth apart. The teeth should touch only when you chew food. During the day keep your teeth apart. That will reduce the need for jaw clenching and teeth grinding.