Most of the people are found to grind their teeth or clench it from time to time. Excessive of grinding is medically termed as Bruxism. While you do it more often, you can face many oral health complications. The rhythmic clenching of teeth can happen without your realization and can develop at any age. Teeth grinding may unconsciously occur in sleep or during the daytime while concentrating on a task, often placing teeth together and apply force through contraction of jaw muscles.
The most common symptoms of teeth grinding is headache. People having bruxism suffer from headaches three times more than usual. Other symptoms are muscles aches, enlargement of facial muscles, joint discomfort, stiffness of shoulders, neck, ear pain and sleep disorders.
The possible causes of teeth grinding can be stress, anxiety, smoking, heavy alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Studies show that bruxism occur to those who frequently snore in their sleep and suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Some research also reveal that there is a link between teeth grinding and stressful work environment.
Chronic teeth grinding can may result in fracture, loosening or loss of teeth. It may wear down the teeth to stumps. When this happens, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures and even complete denture may be needed. It can also harms your jaws and can even change the appearance of your face.
There are many ways your doctor could ask you to do to prevent grinding of teeth. He/she may ask you to wear a mouth guard while you sleep at night to stop the clenching.
If the cause of your teeth grinding is the stress then your doctor may suggest you for stress counselling, exercise programs or give you a prescription of muscle relaxants.
Some other tips to prevent teeth grinding are:
Cut back caffeine-Avoid or cut back on food and drinks containing caffeine such as cola, chocolate, and coffee
Avoid alcohol-Stop consuming alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after intake of alcohol.
Stop chewing gums–Avoid chewing gums as it allows your jaw muscles to get used to clenching and grinding. Also do not chew pencils and pens.
Train yourself-Train yourself to not to grind your teeth. If you realise that you are, place the tip of tongue in between your teeth. This will relax your jaw muscles.
Warm compress-Take a cloth soaked in warm water. Keep it near your cheek in front of your earlobe to relax your jaw muscles.
Massage-Try massage and stretching exercise to relieve the tension in muscles of your face, neck, shoulders, jaw and cheeks.
Turmeric Milk-Turmeric milk can control the problem and can relieve you from pain caused due to teeth grinding.
Sleep Well-Sleep properly. While you rare in the habit of grinding your teeth, you must not be getting enough amount of rest.
Know your diet-A diet rich in vitamins and calcium can keep you away from clenching your teeth.
Medication-Bruxism may be a side effect of some medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects before taking prescription drugs
If you’re still not sure what’s causing you to grind your teeth, see your dentist. Not only will your dentist help you find the solution to your problem, but regular dental visits will allow your dentist to check for signs of bruxism and help you control it before the damage gets out of hand.They will be able to help you find more effective and long-lasting ways to stop this action. Clenching and grinding can lead to several destructives effects including pain and damage to teeth that can sometimes be irreparable and costly.