Many of us grind or clench our teeth at some point, although most children grow out of the habit. Unfortunately, chronic grinding or clenching – medically known as bruxism – can be damaging to your teeth and overall oral health, especially in severe cases. It often occurs throughout the sleep cycle (known as sleep bruxism) and like other sleep disorders, can be difficult to diagnose. Stopping this habit can be even more difficult, as there are many factors that can contribute to it. However, it is necessary in order to protect your teeth. If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity or are noticing excessive wear on your teeth – it may be time for a trip to your dentist, they can help you to stop grinding your teeth.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
There isn’t one single reason why people grind their teeth – there are actually several contributing factors. In fact, if you suffer from another sleep disorder (like sleep apnea, for example), it could be the reason behind your teeth grinding. However, it’s more likely a misaligned bite or even emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, or frustration.
No matter the cause behind your bruxism – the quickest way to protect your teeth is by wearing a custom-made oral appliance. Keep in mind; every patient’s individual results will vary depending on the severity of your condition, but a bruxism appliance (known as an NTI – Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition) has become the most popular treatment of choice.
Each appliance is made from a mold of your teeth, but keeps your teeth from coming together – reducing the amount of pressure significantly. Without the additional pressure, your jaw muscles are able to relax – decreasing your symptoms.
Don’t hesitate to visit your dentist – the sooner you’re able to start wearing a bruxism appliance, the quicker you can eliminate those uncomfortable symptoms.