Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, when performed on a consistent basis, can cause significant harm to your teeth and oral health. Often thought of as a stress reliving mechanism, chronic bruxism typically happens when people are sleeping and unaware that they are actually grinding their teeth. Chronic teeth grinding can cause sore jaws, TMD, hearing loss, altered facial appearance, fractured or loose teeth, or even loss of teeth. Furthermore, teeth grinding can wear your teeth down to nubs, thus requiring major dental restoration including crowns, bridges or dental implants.
To combat teeth grinding, dentists typically will fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. If teeth grinding is due to stress, you need to see a physician to determine the causes and effective treatments for your stressful condition.
Additionally, there are other things you can do to reduce teeth grinding or the effects of teeth grinding. They include:
- Stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation and exercise
- Reduce caffeine intake such as sodas, coffee and energy drinks
- Avoid alcohol. Teeth grinding is exacerbated by alcohol
- Avoid chewing on gum
- Be cognizant of your clenching. Become aware of the condition and perform relaxation sessions