Should I Be Worried If I’m Grinding My Teeth?

Should I Be Worried If I’m Grinding My Teeth?

Grinding Teeth

Written By: Poulami Saha | 28 March 2024

Have you ever found yourself subconsciously clenching your teeth due to stress or anxiety? This dental habit is called bruxism. Bruxism, also commonly known as teeth grinding, occurs mostly during sleep when you clench or grind your teeth subconsciously. In this blog, we’ll be shedding some light on this common dental issue and how to deal with teeth grinding.

What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

Many people occasionally grind their teeth, especially if they’re under stress. You can be one of them. Teeth grinding can place strain on your jaws and teeth, which can result in migraines, jaw pain, and other problems in addition to dental damage. Although bruxism can affect anyone, it most frequently develops in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. The number of people who grind their teeth is difficult to determine because it often happens when they are asleep. Stress is a common trigger, but other factors like anxiety, certain medications, misaligned teeth, or even sleep apnea can also play a role. In addition to teeth grinding or clenching, bruxism can cause jaw pain, headaches, earaches, facial pain, and even loose teeth.

What are the Key Causes of Tooth Grinding?

The exact reason why some people grind their teeth and others do not is unknown to medical professionals. There isn’t just one particular reason for grinding teeth. For instance, although the benefits of tooth fillings are way beyond just keeping the fitting in the teeth together, sometimes it can indirectly lead to bruxism due to misalignment in teeth position. Instead, there may be some contributing factors.
  • Feeling of stress and anxiety can make you prone to bruxism.
  • Sleeping problems like snoring
  • Lifestyle habits like high consumption of caffeine
  • Certain medications
  • Genetic history of tooth grinding

What are the Key Symptoms of Tooth Grinding?

You might not even realize that you may be grinding your teeth because you often do it unconsciously while sleeping. You may discover that you clench your teeth from the following symptoms:
  • Worn-out tooth enamel
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tight jaw muscles
  • Pain in your jaw, face, or neck
  • Dull headaches
  • Chewing the inside of your cheek
  • Experiencing pain when you eat
  • Wearing down and flattening teeth
  • Loose or painful teeth
  • Breakage of crowns

What can be the Treatment for Teeth Grinding?

If your bruxism is minor or you only experience it sometimes, you probably don’t need to see a dentist. However, in serious situations, medical professionals may suggest these bruxism remedies.
  1. 1. Mouthguards can be your Savior
    If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard. Most are made of plastic. To keep your teeth safe, a customized mouth guard might lessen the strain on your TMJ muscles by moving your jaw. When you are most likely to grind your teeth, you can opt for a mouthguard.
  1. 2. Stress Reduction is a must
    Reducing stress may help to lessen bruxism symptoms. This covers a wide range of treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, exercise, and meditation.
  1. 3. Lifestyle changes are necessary
    Reducing your daily intake of caffeine may help if it’s the cause of your teeth grinding. It may benefit you by stopping bruxism and improving the quality of your sleep.
  1. 4.Medications can be your last resort
    One way to minimize or avoid teeth grinding is to take a muscle relaxant before going to bed. The majority of medical professionals only suggest this strategy temporarily. The medication is injected for several medical issues. It prevents the mobility of muscles and has been shown to reduce bruxism symptoms.

Some Common FAQs

  1. 1. Do children grind their teeth?
    Tooth grinding is an issue that affects both adults and children. Around 15% to 33% of kids clench their teeth. Children who grind their teeth tend to do so at two peak times—when baby teeth develop and when permanent teeth grow. After these two sets of teeth erupt fully, most kids stop grinding their teeth.
  1. 2. Is tooth grinding a serious issue?
    It probably doesn’t matter much if you grind your teeth only once in a while. However, if you do it frequently over a long period, it may cause headaches, temporomandibular joint disease, tinnitus, and other health problems in the future.
  1. 3. Is tooth grinding genetic?
    If someone else in your family has bruxism, your chances of inheriting it are increased. However, no specific gene related to tooth grinding has been identified by researchers.

Key Takeaway

Grinding your teeth is a common condition with a variety of potential causes. Early treatment is crucial to preventing serious dental issues. You can visit your dentist to check if you are repetitively grinding your teeth.
Book an appointment with the dentist if you notice any of the signs mentioned. When it comes to opting for cost-effective dental treatment in Dubai, APEX Dental Clinic in Dubai is just one quick appointment away.