Things Need to Know about Bruxism
Bruxism, which refers to the habit of grinding, gnashing, or clenching the teeth, is one of the most common oral issues. According to a study, nearly 10 percent people grind their teeth so hard that they eventually need to have reconstructive surgery. Besides being harmful for the teeth, bruxism causes severe damages to overall health.
If you have the habit of grinding your teeth excessively, here is what you need to know about bruxism.
1. It Affects Your Oral Health
In some cases, bruxism is mild. However, when it is frequent and severe, it may cause harm to the joints in your lower jaw, which may lead to pain and stiffness in the joint area as well as cause headaches.
Moreover, bruxism may also affect the health of your teeth. With persistent impact, the habit may wear down the enamel, cause tooth sensitivity, and even result in chipped or broken teeth.
2. Stress May Worsen the Problem
Teeth grinding may become severe when you are stressed, anxious, or frustrated. Some studies have proved that up to 70 percent of bruxism is triggered by stress. Experts argue that work related stress and anxiety is the primary cause of bruxism among adults. However, a person with a good outlet for stress, such as therapy or exercise, is less likely to develop the problem.
Up to 15 percent children grind their teeth. Some studies report the figure as high as 38 percent. In most cases, children grind their teeth at night which is commonly linked to sleep apnea, stress, dental occlusion, teething, jaw and tooth growth and development, and certain psychological problems.
Dentists argue that bruxism is not an issue among children until they have their baby teeth. Even if they have flattened their teeth from excessive grinding, they may get adult teeth over time.
4. Bruxism is Treatable
In most cases, bruxism does not need to be treated. However, if the problem is severe, it may be controlled through several ways.
One of the most common approaches to treat bruxism is a mouth guard which can prevent you from teeth grinding, thus reducing damages to the teeth and jaw. Sometimes, reducing the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes can also help alleviate the symptoms. Moreover, if your bruxism is due to stress, you need to identify the triggers and find ways to relax and control the problem.