When you grind your teeth out of frustration, it’s not unnatural. But when you spend every waking and sleeping moment grinding your teeth – it is a problem… and one that dentists warn you of…
Known as Bruxism in medical parlance, constant teeth grinding is a medical problem that people most often do not even think about… in fact they don’t even know the causes of teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding byitself might seem harmless – but it leads to other bigger problems.
Teeth grinding can be of two types – Awake bruxism and Sleep bruxism – and both can lead to minor to major problems like –
- Loosening of teeth
- Fracturing of teeth
- Loss of teeth
After all, your teeth can be strong and healthy – but even the strongest tooth will relent when you keep grinding it against its neighbors, constantly, and unrelentingly. That’s what happens to your teeth when you keep up with the abrasion of your teeth – your dental structure suffers, and you might need –
- Root canals
- Dental Implants
Unchecked Bruxism can also lead to –
- TMJ/TMD — Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
- Loss of hearing
- Disfigurement of your facial structure
The prospect doesn’t sound very good – and the best way to ensure that you don’t keep grinding your teeth is to identify its causes.
Although dentists are still unsure about the exact cause of Bruxism –the major culprits seem to be –
- Psychological factors – stress, anxiety or worries that you cannot alleviate or forget. Stress is a prominent feature of modern life, nothing new there, but different people deal with stress differently, and you handle stress by grinding your teeth. You do it unconsciously.Unfortunately, often it becomes a sort of habit that you don’t even stop to consider. Also, aggression that is yet to be dealt with, or has been smothered very deliberately can surface unconsciously as teeth grinding.
- Genetic factors – it could be in your family tree…though there is no concrete evidence that genetics has anything to do with Bruxism. But it has been seen that those suffering from teeth grinding have someone close in the family who has the same problem.
- Medicinal factors – drugs, both prescription and recreational, can lead to teeth grinding. Some of the suspects among medicines that can cause Bruxism include –dopamine agonists, tricyclic antidepressants, amphetamines…as well as meds taken for Parkinson’s disease, cocaine etc. In fact, even high doses of caffeine in the system can lead to teeth grinding…although there are no conclusive reports about this as of yet.
- Occlusal factors – this is not a disease or even anything related to a medical issue. It’s just in the way your dentures are naturally set. If you have teeth that are too high, or are not well aligned with those in your lower jaw, you could unconsciously be grinding your teeth in a bid to reach a level where you are satisfied with the way your jaws rest against each other.
So these are the causes of teeth grinding – and you probably agree that these are causes you hardly ever considered would lead to teeth grinding. You might even think that teeth grinding isn’t that big a deal – especially since it’s just a matter of rubbing your teeth against each other – but can you seriously take the risk…especially since teeth grinding can lead to severe problems?