More than a few people suffer from nocturnal teeth grinding. This is not a harmless problem, mainly because additional problems with the teeth become inevitable. Sleep disturbances and other oral health restrictions can also be the result of tooth grinding.
Bruxism, also known as dental grinding, is caused by unresolved stress that people are exposed to throughout the day. In certain sleep phases, nocturnal stress manifests itself and causes unpleasant dental grinding. The causes of this can be found directly in the brain.
But other triggers are conceivable. For example, dental prostheses that sit poorly can be responsible for grinding as well as the consumption of too much coffee or alcohol. Even taking certain medications promotes teeth grinding.
Dentists can often diagnose grinding by a simple visual evaluation. If the patient complains of jaw pain, their validation further confirms the dentist’s diagnosis. The masticatory muscles are also affected, whereby a clear increase in this context is often recognizable.
In many cases, however, it is a family member or spouse that confirms grinding. In this case, usually, no damage to the teeth are recognizable, which is why the preliminary discussion with the dentist is particularly important.
Sometimes it is neck tension, the cause of which is found in teeth grinding. Even hardened facial muscles can point this out. Infrequently affected persons also report a toothache or an earache.
This kind of issue will always require a thorough diagnosis, which helps the dentist determine what treatment path to take. Noticing abrasion marks on the patient’s teeth, however, is usually a sign of advanced or late-stage grinding.
It is usually not possible to completely prevent teeth from grinding. On the other hand, numerous measures are available to help prevent consequential damage. In many cases, the dentist makes a plastic splint that has to be inserted over the teeth every night.
This splint allows the teeth to be protected, thus preventing the patient from grinding their teeth. Sometimes, dentists recommend that patients wear splints during the day. Last but not least, heat and facial massages may also help to get the problem under control.
Treatment helps relax the masticatory muscles. In any case, it is important to see the dentist at the first sign of teeth grinding and they will decide what to do next.