Teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) occurs most commonly in the nighttime. Teeth grinding happens when you clench your jaw muscles. When this takes place, your teeth can grind back and forth against each other. This condition is very much out of one’s control, and can affect people of any race, gender or age.
You may have already come to terms with the fact that you grind your teeth. It is most often found by waking up with a sore jaw/mouth and headache. In some cases, your dental office can notice when your teeth have been significantly affected after a checkup. Whatever way you found out you had it, you will want to know why this happens. We here at Weston Dental Office have come up with reasons as to why this takes place and how to prevent it.
Anxiety and Stress
Studies have shown that almost 70 percent of teeth grinding happens because of stress or anxiety. One would believe that stress would be put away when you sleep, but unfortunately, this is not true. You are still feeling the same tense and unnerving stress, but it is just manifesting itself within the muscles and bones of your jaw.
Job related stress is a huge contributor to teeth grinding, and can really mess with someone’s sleep schedule if it becomes constant. It can even become a vicious loop where you aren’t getting enough sleep because of teeth grinding, which makes you even more anxious due to lack of sleep so you grind your teeth more- the cycle continues and can worsen with time. The best solution to this type of teeth grinding scenario is to get yourself involved with stress-relieving exercises at work. Try listening to calming music, or taking some time to meditate after work; these exercises help relax the muscles in your body, and lower the tension you put onto your jaw.
Teeth Problems Such As Malocclusion
Misaligned teeth can play a part in teeth grinding as well. Since your teeth do not line up properly when your mouth is closed, this throws off the balance of the jaw (also known as the occlusion). This puts a large amount of stress on joints or muscles near and around the mouth/jaw, leading to bruxism.
Side Effects From Certain Medications
Certain types of medications will contain the side effect of teeth grinding. This is especially common in medications for problems such as anxiety, sleep or depression (specifically antipsychotics/antidepressants).
When you suffer from a sleeping disorder, bruxism is quite common. There are certain conditions that increase the risk of someone having bruxism, including:
- Acid Reflux
- Parasomnia (sleep paralysis, sleep walking, etc)
- Breathing Issues During Sleep
- Sleep Apnea
Certain Lifestyle Choices
Things such as caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs aren’t directly responsible for teeth grinding, but they can heighten the risk of getting it.This is because each of these things are psychoactive substances that can affect the chemicals in your brain. These things will most likely affect your sleep, and in turn can lead to bruxism. If you feel as though you are constantly grinding your teeth, try cutting off one or more of these things.
How We Can Help
Here at Weston Dental Office, we care about you and your dental health. That is why we provide our patients with high quality dental work done by some of the most skilled professionals in the field. To learn more about our general dentistry in Toronto and how you can book an appointment with us, be sure to call our office at 416-247-1928 today! We look forward to hearing from you and helping in any way we can.