It has become a fairly common habit in modern times for people to grind their teeth while they sleep. This unconscious act is known as bruxism, and for many it is an arduous process of aching jaws and disturbed sleep before they realise the cause of these issues. Unfortunately those who grind their teeth are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea. To help prevent damage from bruxism it’s important to get to the root of the reasons behind it before reviewing all options to help prevent further damage and distress.
Reasons behind bruxism
The causes behind teeth grinding can vary completely from person to person, but a familiar one is stress and anxiety. Physcological issues often present themselves in physical side-effects which in turn can worsen the initial stress levels, making it important to see both a doctor and dentist to ensure a correct diagnosis and ensure the problem is correctly managed.
Dental issues such as missing or broken teeth can also play a part in developing bruxism, as can other physical ailments like epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Certain pharmaceuticals can introduce teeth grinding as a negative side effect, from legal medications like antidepressants to illegal recreational drugs such as cocaine.
Consequences of teeth grinding
The physical results of long-term teeth grinding can be detrimental to your dental health if left unchecked. Teeth can become chipped, cracked, and even loosened, and tedious pain in your jaw muscles is almost guaranteed. Because of the consistent pressure applied from grinding your teeth every night many people develop neck or ear pain, headaches, as well as a sensitivity to food and drinks that are hot, cold, sweet, or sour.
Perhaps the most disruptive consequence of grinding your teeth is the disrupted sleep that occurs. Even if you are able to fall asleep, have a restless, disturbed sleep can result in devastating mental health issues and an overall feeling of being tired, unable to focus properly, and generally being unwell.
Preventing tooth wear
If you suspect you are grinding your teeth it is important to see an experienced dentist as soon as possible. The friendly team at our Vic Park dental clinic has extensive experience in analysing and diagnosing bruxism, and are able to guide you through the process of finding a long-term solution.
Long-term use of a mouth guard can alleviate the pressure of the grinding, resulting in better quality sleep and less jaw pain. However it is not recommended that you stop using the guard should you feel an improvement, unfortunately this is an issue that often requires life-long maintenance.
How Aardent dental can help
The highly trained team at our Perth dental clinic is perfectly placed to help reduce the pain and wear that happens to your teeth and jaw when you grind your teeth. As experts in preventative dentistry, we can easily carry out an examination to see whether we recommend getting one of our top quality occlusal splints. These mouthguards, worn at night, protect your teeth from future wear as well as safeguard any dental work you may have had, or will have. Invest in your smile today and book an appointment with us, your friendly, local dentist in Victoria Park, for a thorough check-up.