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The War in your Mouth: Teeth Grinding

July 18, 2009

If you have ever ground your teeth before while sleeping, you’ve suffered from bruxing. Bruxism, which comes from the greek word brychein, literally means gnashing of teeth, and it occurs in most humans at some time in their lives.  For most people, teeth grinding never becomes a real health problem.  But if left unchecked, bruxism can become a sleep disorder that can lead to further health issues, such as jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth. The two main causes of bruxism are age and stress.  Regarding age, young children occasionally grind their teeth, but they quickly grow out of it.  The more pertinent cause is stress, which includes anxiety, high-pressure situations, and anger among other things.  These things can lead to teeth-clenching and grinding. One of the most important aspects of the disorder is that most people don’t know that they do it.  Bruxing occurs during sleep, and the wear on the teeth can easily be misconstrued as normal wear-and-tear that occurs throughout one’s life.  However, there are other symptons to help distinguish the problem, such as sensitivity, headache, face pain, TMJ pain, and earache to name a few.  The most obvious symptom would of course be to wake up others from excessively loud grinding. The easiest solution to this problem would be to pick up a mouth guard, which are also sometimes called nightguards, stressguards, teeth grinding guards, dental guards, or occlusal guards.  Your dentist can make a custom guard for you, or you can pick up a boil-and-bite over-the-counter guard.  The Dentek Comfort Fit Nightguard comes ready to wear right out of the package and has an innovative design that fits perfectly without any custom shaping.  And the Dr. Brux Bite Tray Night guard comes uses a thermoplastic material with two assigned degrees of hardness for both comfort and support.  Of course, if you feel you might have a severe case of bruxism, make sure to consult your dentist.