TMJ Guide

Discover The Causes, Results & How To Prevent Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is an oral habit characterized by tightly clenching the upper and lower teeth in a tight hold; additionally (and more commonly), the teeth are moved in a forward and backward motion while in the tight clench. This type of motion is often carried out at night during the sleep times and in a lot of cases, a person might not be entirely aware of the habit. Teeth grinding is also a habit that is present in a diurnal form that is manifested as night time as well as day time grinding of teeth.

The causes of teeth grinding

The causes of teeth grinding are considered to be multifactorial and there can be many triggers that can contribute to the occurrence of teeth grinding. These contributory factors of teeth grinding can act as a single trigger or they can also act in combination. Some of the more commonly accepted factors that contribute to the habit of teeth grinding are

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Mal alignment of teeth
  • Jaw joint disorder
  • Nerve disorder
  • Abdominal disorder
  • Ear problems
  • Side effects of drugs

While stress and anxiety is considered to be a huge contributory factor to teeth grinding, the teeth grinding habit by itself can create circumstances for further stress leading to a cycle of stress that is often difficult to get out of, without help.

The results of teeth grinding

Teeth grinding exists in hundreds of people in the form of an innocuous habit that is outgrown with age and time. However, in many cases especially where there is a pathological / organic basis for the existence of the teeth grinding habit, the condition known in medical terms as Bruxism can rapidly progress into a chronic condition.

Chronic conditions of teeth grinding can cause severe damage if left unattended. Some of the most common damage caused by teeth grinding are intense wear and tear of teeth (sometimes teeth are worn to their stumps), cracks and fractures on teeth, loosening of teeth or pushing them out of alignment (in severe cases teeth fall off), jaw joint disorder, problems of the upper spinal chord, insomnia, depression and irritation resulting from sleep deprivation, headaches and facial pain etc.

Prevention of teeth grinding

While chronic cases of teeth grinding requires some immediate preventive techniques after consultations with a specialist, there are other natural ways to prevent and minimize the damage that teeth grinding can cause.

These include holistic methods of healing the body and undertaking self help steps to deal with Bruxism.

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