Bruxism, commonly referred to as tooth grinding, is a widespread problem. And whether you’re conscious of it or not, it might result in a lot of issues!
About teeth grinding and braces, there is a lot to learn. Can someone who grinds their teeth even get braces? If you can, can braces help with teeth grinding, or will it harm braces? What causes teeth grinding in the first place?
What causes teeth grinding in people?
Although there isn’t a single cause of tooth grinding, several factors can play a role. These consist of:
- Stress: Clenching your teeth might be a coping method for people who experience persistent stress or worry.
- Medical conditions: TMJ problems or an ear infection that affects the jaw muscles have both been linked to teeth grinding.
- Sleep disorders: Those who suffer from sleep apnea grind their teeth more frequently than those who do not.
- Misaligned teeth: If your upper and lower teeth are not in proper alignment, you are more prone to grind your teeth.
How to identify tooth grinding?
There are various symptoms to watch out for if you think you may have bruxism:
- strained or uncomfortable jaw muscles
- recessed teeth
- loose, cracked, or chipped teeth
- tooth sensitivity or discomfort
- dull, aching pain in the temples or ears
- Pain, clicking, or grinding in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) when opening your mouth
The simplest approach to determine whether you are grinding your teeth is to visit your dentist for a formal diagnosis if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Why Is Grinding Your Teeth Bad?
Chronic teeth grinding can occasionally cause teeth to break, become loose, or even fall out. The constant grinding could eventually leave teeth as stumps. Bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even full dentures may be required when these things happen.
Not only may excessively grinding wear down your teeth and cause tooth loss, but it can also impact your jaws, increase TMD/TMJ, and even alter the way your face looks.
How can you stop grinding my teeth?
To prevent teeth grinding while you sleep, have your dentist fit you with a mouth guard. Ask your dentist or doctor about ways to cope with your stress if it’s causing you to grind your teeth. Some of the options that might be suggested include going to stress counseling, beginning an exercise regimen, seeing a physical therapist, or getting a prescription for muscle relaxants.
If a sleeping condition is the cause of the habit, addressing it may lessen or end it.
Other advice to quit grinding your teeth includes:
- Avoid or limit your consumption of colas, chocolate, and coffee as well as other caffeinated foods and beverages.
- Skip the alcohol. After drinking alcohol, grinding often becomes more severe.
- Avoid chewing on pens, pencils, or other non-food items. Avoid chewing gum as it encourages your jaw muscles to clench more frequently and increases your risk of tooth grinding.
- You should practice not clenching or grinding your teeth. Try placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth if you find that you clench or grind your teeth throughout the day. Your jaw muscles will learn to relax with this practice.
- Holding a warm washcloth to your cheek in front of your earlobe will help you relax your jaw muscles at night.
Braces—do they work?
Braces may be able to lessen or stop teeth grinding if it is caused by an irregular bite or crooked teeth. Braces or orthodontic treatment may be sufficient to halt the dreadful nocturnal teeth grinding. Although it won’t happen immediately, gradually making small adjustments to your teeth will make you feel more at ease and comfortable.