Is Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) Common?
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching, or bruxism, is very common and is typically associated with anxiety or stress. Teeth grinding and clenching affect both children and adults. Awake bruxism is more common in adults, but bruxism while sleeping can start as early as 10 years old and peaks around 10-14 years old. A common treatment is to wear a night guard while sleeping.
Bruxism does not always result in symptoms. However, a lot of people suffer from headaches and facial pain. Plus, it can wear your teeth down over time. A lot of people who clench their jaws and grind their teeth do not realize that they are doing it. This is typical because it happens while they are asleep, which is why dentists recommend night guards. Some people grind their teeth while they are awake and under stress or when they are concentrating. Talk to us about treatment for daytime teeth grinding.
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What are some of the causes of teeth grinding?
The cause of teeth grinding is not clear. However, there are factors that have been linked to teeth grinding, including sleep problems, anxiety, and stress. We will explain some of these in further detail.
Sleep disorders – If you have a sleep disorder, for example, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), or you snore, you are more likely to grind your teeth during your sleep. OSA also interrupts your breathing. If any of the following apply, you are more likely to grind your teeth and a night guard may be a good solution for you.
- Experience hallucinations while semi-conscious, for example, you hear and see things that are not real
- Sleep paralysis, or the temporary inability to speak or move while falling asleep or waking up
- Violent behavior while asleep, for example, you punch or kick
- Mumble or talk while sleeping
Anxiety and stress – Teeth grinding tends to be caused by anxiety or stress. A lot of people do not realize they are doing it, especially as it tends to happen while they are sleeping.
Medication – Teeth grinding can sometimes result from taking a certain type of medication. In particular, teeth grinding has been linked to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is a type of antidepressant. Examples include sertraline, fluoxetine, and paroxetine.
Lifestyle factors – Teeth grinding has been linked to a number of different lifestyle factors as well. This includes having lots of caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea as well as using recreational drugs, smoking, and drinking alcohol.
Some of these causes of bruxism are unavoidable, like a required medication, and hard to deal with, like anxiety and stress. In any of these circumstances, a night guard will help protect your teeth.
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What are some of the symptoms of teeth grinding?
Some of the symptoms that people experience when they grind their teeth include:
- Broken fillings or teeth
- Worn-down teeth that could cause tooth loss and increased sensitivity
- Disrupted sleep for both you and your partner
- Pain and stiffness in the jaw joint, as well as the muscles that surround your jaw, which can lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
- Facial pain
What Should You Do About It?
It is important to see your dentist if your partner says that you are making grinding sounds in your sleep. You should also give us a visit if your ear, face, or jaw is painful, or if your teeth are sensitive, damaged, and worn. Even if you are unsure as to whether you grind your teeth or not, we will be able to check your jaw and teeth so that we can determine whether there are any signs of teeth grinding or not.
A custom night guard is a common solution. However, we may also recommend that you have dental treatment if your teeth have been worn and you are at risk of developing further problems. However, we will explain everything to you beforehand and leave it to you to decide.
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Why you should see us for night guards
If bruxism is something you are experiencing, our dentists highly recommend a custom night guard. There is the option to buy generic mouthpieces on the market. However, we do not advise it. The reason is that they do not always fit your mouth correctly. Because of this, people often find that generic night guards are very uncomfortable and tend to give up on them after a few tries. This is why we recommend a custom-made night guard to fit your mouth perfectly.
We have been awarded Boston Top Dentist by Boston Magazine since 2017, so we are a great choice if you are searching for the best night guards in Boston. We make custom oral appliances in our dental labs to create a perfect fit. Custom night guards have a much higher success rate because they are more comfortable.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to receive a night guard or to learn more about them. Teeth clenching and grinding can cause lasting damage to your teeth if left untreated. We highly recommend that patients suffering from bruxism use a night guard.