Understanding Teeth Grinding

Also called bruxism, teeth grinding can be mild enough not to require treatment. But bruxism can also be come severe enough for some people to become a health problem. Excessive teeth grinding can lead to headaches, jaw disorders and damaged teeth as just among the other problems caused by the condition.

Causes of bruxism

The primary cause of bruxism is not entirely known even among doctors. When it comes to daytime bruxism a possible contributor may be a misalignment of the upper and lower teeth, although this may need to be confirmed by further studies.

There are also psychological factors known to be associated with bruxism. Anxiety and stress seem to cause teeth grinding in people. Suppressed anger and frustration also seem to cause bruxism. People with aggressive and competitive personalities are also prone to develop teeth grinding.

Symptoms of bruxism

The main symptom of bruxism is the excessive grinding of teeth. When asleep, the teeth grinding can become loud enough to wake up another person. With frequent teeth grinding, symptoms show as worn out, flattened or chipped teeth.

This can sometimes wore the teeth to the point of wearing of the tooth enamel and exposing the sensitive parts of teeth. Other symptoms of bruxism include jaw pain and tightness, increased tooth sensitivity, headaches and earaches due to severe tooth contractions.

How bruxism is diagnosed?

A dental exam may provide doctors with the physical signs of bruxism. Other means of diagnosing teeth grinding is further examination by psychologists evaluating the psychological component of the condition.

Stress levels, current medication, smoking and alcohol consumption are other things that doctors may need to know about to diagnose bruxism.

How bruxism is treated?

Most cases of bruxism may not require treatment. But for those people who suffer from a severe case of teeth grinding, treatment that will be provided is dependent on the symptoms and the underlying cause of the condition.

For bruxism diagnosed because of too much stress, treatment suggested may be stress management and professional counseling as well as exercises and meditation that may promote relaxation.

Excessive teeth grinding can also be treated through a dental approach. A mouth guard or a dental protective device may be used in order to prevent the damage on the teeth due to the excessive grinding.

Correcting misaligned teeth may also be considered to treat some cases of teeth grinding.