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Why grinding teeth can cause serious health problems

 


Teeth grinding is something that can be subconscious, and many people do it without sometimes knowing about it until it’s too late. Teeth grinding and clenching is also called bruxism, and while some people may never have symptoms, if it is severe it can have a number of painful consequences.

The causes of teeth grinding

Why some people grind their teeth is still unknown, but there are a number of factors that have been found to be common triggers for teeth grinding, gnawing, and clenching. 

Many people may not even know that they are grinding their teeth because they do it at night while they are asleep. This is often related to other sleep disorders which then cause or trigger the grinding. This includes, for example, snoring and sleep apnea. 

One of the most common causes of teeth grinding is stress and anxiety and research has shown that almost 70% of bruxism is the result of stress

Job satisfaction is a key factor in adult stress and dissatisfaction with your work, your shift pattern or the possibility of unemployment could cause teeth grinding. It also often leads to sleep disorders that then further exacerbate the bruxism. 

Certain lifestyle factors may also be a cause of teeth grinding. Things such as drinking alcohol, smoking, or drinking too much caffeine may cause or worsen the likelihood of teeth grinding. Research shows that individuals who lead a lifestyle with high levels of these substances are more likely to suffer from bruxism.

The effects of bruxism

While many people may never experience any severe symptoms from their teeth grinding, others may experience extreme pain as a result. Headaches are cited as the most common symptom of teeth grinding, but others may also have facial pain, earache, and tightness or stiffness of the shoulders. In addition, the impact on your teeth can also be severe. In severe cases, grinding teeth can lead to the wearing down of teeth, which can then lead to teeth sensitivity or tooth loss. In some cases, the grinding of teeth can even lead to broken teeth or fillings. This damage to teeth can then lead to a number of related health issues, such as a higher propensity for heart attacks, diabetes and cancer.

A professional must assess and determine the cause of the teeth damage. It’s also best to look for healthcare professionals who are well-versed in this aspect of dental care. Ti Dental is a professional dental practice that provides information and specific care for bruxism. This is a great example of what to look for. They insist on determining the underlying issues that cause the grinding and refer to other professionals to deal with these rather than simply dealing with the damage caused to the teeth, otherwise it would not be a sustainable form of treatment. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or know that you grind your teeth, there are things you can do. Using a mouth guard is an effective way to reduce the sensation of teeth grinding and has been found to be the most effective treatment. Addressing the triggers of stress and anxiety can also be an effective way to stop grinding your teeth. These are often things we can do on our own, but it is important to see a dentist if you notice any tooth damage, or experience pain in the jaw, ear, or face, or you have been told you make a grinding noise while you sleep.

The main point to note is that you need to pay attention to this. A dentist can easily see if it has been happening and if it is something done while awake, be more aware of the habit and the damage it can cause your teeth and health.


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