- Published Date: 05 Aug 2020
- Updated Date: 07 Jul 2021
- Reading Time: 4 min
There are probably plenty of occasions when you might clench or grind your teeth. When you do this from time-to-time, it probably won’t do you that much harm. However, if you’re grinding or clenching your teeth a lot and have no control over it, then your teeth may become damaged and you may develop oral health problems.
Teeth grinding and clenching is called bruxism and as many as one in three people experience it. But what are the causes and how can you deal with this?
In this article, we will explore what causes people to grind and clench their teeth, how to spot whether you are someone that grinds your teeth in your sleep, and what you can do to protect your teeth from getting damaged.
What Causes People to Grind Their Teeth?
Many people grind their teeth due to stress or anxiety. Often, this occurs while a person is asleep and is more likely to be caused by a misaligned bite, goofy teeth, or gaps between the teeth. It can also be brought on by a sleep disorder like apnea.
Understanding the specific cause of your grinding will be useful in helping to find the right way of managing it.
How Can I Tell if I Grind or Clench My Teeth?
It would be easy to spot whether or not your grind and clench your teeth if you did this while you were awake, however, more often than not teeth grinding is something that occurs when you are asleep. Most people will be unaware that they’re grinding their teeth in their sleep.
There are some signs that you may be grinding your teeth during your sleep. If you wake up with a sore jaw or headache, these are the most obvious clues.
For many people, the first time they find out that they grind their teeth is when sharing a bed or room with someone else and the teeth grinding is pointed out.
If you think that you may be someone that grinds their teeth, you should speak with your dentist. Make an appointment at the earliest opportunity. They will be able to examine your teel, jaw, and mouth and look for evidence of bruxism such as large amounts of wear and tear on your teeth and tenderness in your jaw.
Why Should You Worry About Teeth Grinding?
While you may have been grinding your teeth without any symptoms so far, there are several reasons why you should be concerned about your teeth grinding. In some cases, grinding your teeth can result in your teeth becoming broken or completely falling out. If you continue to grind your teeth, you could wear them right the way down until they are just stumps. If you do this, you may need all kinds of procedures to restore your teeth and fight off infection including root canal, dental implants, crowns, bridges, and more.
It’s not just your teeth that will be affected by chronic bruxism either, your jaw may develop severe pain and change position. The grinding of your teeth could change the way that your face appears.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Grinding My Teeth?
If you believe you are grinding your teeth, you should make an appointment to see your dentist. There are several courses of action that you could take.
- Looking for ways to reduce your stress levels- As stress is often a major cause of bruxism, think about ways that you could reduce stress or anxiety in your life. Speak with your doctor and see if there is any medication that can be given that will help you. Think about signing up for a stress management course, or find a therapist who can help you develop skills to manage your stress better. You should also look at your diet, how much you are sleeping, and how much exercise you are getting.
- Get treatment for a sleeping disorder- If you have a sleeping disorder that is causing you to grind your teeth, speak with your doctor and seek treatment for this.
- Reduce your caffeine consumption – Caffeine can cause your teeth to grind. Avoid tea, coffee, cola, chocolate, energy drinks and other sources of caffeine.
- Cut down on your alcohol consumption- Drinking too much is likely to exacerbate your bruxism.
- Don’t chew gum – This will cause your jaws and teeth to work harder and cause your jaws to clench.
- Don’t chew on pens and pencils- Again, chewing anything that isn’t food puts undue strain on your teeth and jaws.
How Can Teeth Alignment Help?
Because bruxism is often caused your teeth being unaligned, straightening your teeth will help you. ALIGNERCO provides bespoke teeth straightening treatment that can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.
In order to start your teeth alignment process, you will first of all need to order an impression kit from us. After you receive this you can make an impression of your teeth. Once you’ve done this, send it back. When we get it back, our team of specialists will get to to work on creating aligners that are designed around your teeth.
Once we have made these, we’ll send them on to you and you can start to wear them. You will need to wear them for eight to ten hours each day and over the course of eight to twelve months your teeth will straighten up. Each aligner can be worn for 10 days. After this time, you’ll need to wear a new one.
Stop Grinding by Straightening Your Teeth Now
If you are someone that grinds and clenches their teeth it’s important to get right to the cause of the issue. This means that you should look at straightening your teeth. While you may be inclined to hold off, the longer you grind your teeth, the more likely you are to cause serious damage to your teeth that may require you to have worked such as root canals and implants carried out.
Get in touch today to find out more about ALIGNERCO and how we can help you.
Elle/ 11 Nov 2020
Thanks for the tip of NOT chewing gum for teeth grinding. I chew gum often and I suspect I have some teeth grinding going on.
Team ALIGNERCO/ 21 Nov 2020
A simple habit such as chewing gum could be one of the reasons you’re grinding your teeth at night. Chewing gum gets you used to clenching your jaw, making it more likely you’ll do so even when not chewing. Other habits that can lead to bruxism include: Chewing or biting on a pencil, pen, toothpick or other object.
Jade Amaral/ 28 Oct 2020
Can you grind your teeth if you usually sleep with your mouth open? This is probably a dumb question!
Team ALIGNERCO/ 04 Nov 2020
Not really a dumb question, For some people with sleep apnea, it may become a habit to sleep with their mouth open to accommodate their need for oxygen. Stress and anxiety can also cause a person to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose.
L.A. Franc/ 24 Oct 2020
How do they test for teeth grinding?
Team ALIGNERCO/ 02 Nov 2020
The Dentists assess the shape and the damage done to teeth surfaces to determine if you do have bruxism or gnashing of the teeth.
Troy/ 14 Oct 2020
I had this when I was younger, it’s awful… if you have teeth grinding, you have to get it taken care of.
Team ALIGNERCO/ 02 Nov 2020
yes, thank you. Bruxism can cause serious issues with your teeth if not taken care of.