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Why Do We Grind Our Teeth?

Has your significant other recently alerted you to the fact that your grind your teeth? In addition to being an annoying issue, teeth grinding can actually have a negative impact on your oral health. Why do we grind our teeth? What causes this disorder to occur and what can we do to stop it?

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Grinding

Question: What is bruxism?

Answer: Bruxism refers to the grinding of the teeth or the clenching of the jaws on a consistent basis. While occasional grinding can occur, in bruxism the issue is prolonged. The disorder can eventually wear down enamel and cause fractures or chips to appear, leading to complications ranging from decay to infection.

Question: Why do we grind our teeth?

Answer: We may grind our teeth as a result of tooth loss, malocclusion, TMJ disorder, or most commonly, stress. In fact, stress is one of the more common factors behind bruxism. You may only grind your teeth at night, which means you should be aware of the common symptoms, which include headaches, earaches, jaw pain, or toothache/tooth sensitivity. Don’t ignore sudden discomfort, see your dentist right away.

Question: How can we reduce grinding episodes?

Answer: First, you can try to reduce stress in your day-to-day life. We also suggest avoiding hard or chewy foods, as the repetitive actions need to consume them can worsen symptoms. In addition, don’t chew on pencils or other hard objects.

Question: What treatment does the doctor offer?

Answer: We may suggest orthodontics to address malocclusion, or replace a missing tooth or place a restoration to ease strain on the jaw joints. In many cases, we suggest an oral appliance. Worn at night, the device provides a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, which helps prevent further damage to the teeth. An appliance can also ease jaw joint strain, helping stop future grinding episodes.