What are the Main Causes of Teeth Grinding and Its Treatment

Teeth Grinding Causes

Many health experts have not yet fully understood the main cause of teeth grinding. However, health experts have come up with some of the possible physical and psychological causes that bring about the condition. These causes include:

  • Stress or tension that is often partnered with anxiety.

  • Anger and frustration that have been suppressed.

  • Malocclusion or alignment abnormalities of the lower and upper teeth.

  • Sleep problems

  • In children, a common reason of teeth grinding includes reaction to pain that is brought about by teething and earaches.

  • Complications that are results from certain disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

  • Side effects brought about by antidepressants and other psychiatric medications.

Teeth Grinding Symptoms

  • Grinding and clenching of teeth. This can be loud enough to awaken person sleeping next to the patient.

  • Worn down, fractured, chipped out, or flattened teeth.

  • Tooth enamel will be worn out which causes deep layers of the tooth to be exposed.

  • Increased sensitivity of the teeth especially when drinking cold beverages.

  • Tightening of jaw muscles which may be accompanied by pain.

  • Patients will feel that their jaw muscles are either tired or are losing strength.

  • Earaches that are not caused by ear problems but rather by severe contractions of the jaw muscles.

  • Headaches

  • Constant facial pain

  • Damage that is caused by chewing on the inside area of the cheek.

  • Tongue indentions

Teeth Grinding Treatment

Generally treatment is not necessary since many children who grind their teeth usually outgrow the habit and adults who have it do not clench and grind their teeth severely enough to require any kind of therapy. However, when the condition becomes distractive and intolerable, the following are usually recommended by health experts:

  • Stress Management. This is usually advised for those who grind their teeth because of stress and anxiety. Strategies like meditation and exercise are done to promote relaxation. For young children methods that are commonly used include warm baths and reading their favorite books before bed time.

  • Dental Management. A mouth guard or a dental appliance like a splint is recommended to prevent further teeth damage. Misaligned teeth are also corrected by using overlays that reshape surfaces of teeth. For severe damage, reconstructive therapy can be done. However, this expensive procedure will only correct damaged teeth but will not cure teeth grinding.

  • Behavior Therapy. This can be done by changing proper jaw and mouth position which will need a lot of practice. It is good to seek an advice from dental experts as to the proper position required.

  • Medications. Muscle relaxants can be taken before bed time. A change in antidepressant medications is recommended when these have caused the condition.

  • Home remedies can be pursued which include reducing stress, avoiding stimulating substances before sleeping like coffee and alcohol, and taking time to visit the dentist regularly.

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