TMJ Guide

What Condition Is Grinding Of Teeth Dependent On: Causes And Outcomes

Grinding of teeth is an oral condition characterized by tightly clenching the upper and lower teeth in a tight hold and forcefully moving the teeth 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 aware of the presence of this potentially damaging condition. Teeth grinding is also a habit that is present in a diurnal form that is manifested as night time as well as day time ‘habit’ of grinding teeth.


Causes of teeth grinding


The causes of teeth grinding are considered to be multifactorial and there can be many triggers that can contribute (singly or in combination) to the occurrence of teeth grinding. Some of the more commonly accepted factors that contribute to the habit of teeth grinding are –


  • Stress and anxiety (acknowledged as a prime factor)
  • Mal alignment of teeth (or dental occlusal factors)
  • Jaw joint disorder
  • Nerve disorder
  • Abdominal disorder
  • Allergies to food or other substances
  • Ear infections
  • Inflammations in the head and neck regions
  • Injury to head
  • Side effects or interactions of drugs


The outcome of teeth grinding


Teeth grinding exists commonly in the form of an innocuous habit that is outgrown with age and time. However, in many cases especially where there is a clinical basis for the existence of the teeth grinding condition (known medically 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,
  • Cracks and fractures on teeth,
  • Loosening of teeth or (in severe cases teeth fall off),
  • Jaw joint disorder,
  • Problems of the upper spinal column,
  • Insomnia,
  • Depression resulting from sleep deprivation,
  • Headaches and facial pain etc.


Prevention of teeth grinding


While chronic cases of teeth grinding requires some immediate managing or coping 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 through corrective exercises, stress reduction, dietary corrections and life style changes to maximize fitness of health and immunity levels. Keep in mind though, that it is essential to undergo an examination to identify the root cause of grinding teeth.

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