Bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding, can be a serious problem. Over time, bruxism can start to wear away your enamel. When this happens, your teeth become vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. This is why getting to the root of your bruxism is so important. The last thing you want is to let your bruxism get so bad that it forces you to spend thousands of dollars on dental work. Fortunately, there are some easy solutions to teeth grinding – usually in the form of a teeth grinding guard. When it comes to finding out whether or not you grind your teeth at night, you want to look at some of the common causes. Here are some common reasons for grinding your teeth at night.
- One of the biggest causes of bruxism is stress. If you have major life, financial or work stressors, there is a good chance that you have a series of unconscious coping mechanisms – one of them being teeth grinding. If your teeth feel sore in the morning, or if you wake up with a headache, you may want to find out if stress is the culprit behind your teeth grinding.
- Misaligned bite. Some people have an underbite or overbite, which can also be the cause of bruxism. If you have an overbite or underbite, your teeth may be trying to compensate for the difference in alignment by grinding your upper and lower teeth together. If you have an extreme overbite or underbite, there are treatments that can fix your bite and realign you jaw. In some cases, it may be as simple as braces. In some cases, the bite may be so severe that you will need surgery to fix the bite.
- Sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that arises when you have a muscle in your throat that it is enlarged. When you sleep, the muscle relaxes and blocks your airflow. Sleep apnea can cause severe stress on the body. It can cause things like heart problems, stroke, and even death. It can also cause bruxism. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, you want to get diagnosed right away and you want to start undergoing treatment for the disorder.
- If you suffer from chronic earaches, one of your body’s coping mechanisms may be to constantly grind your upper and lower jaw together. If you look at the structure of your ears and your jaw, you can see that they are closely connected. This is why you want to get to the bottom of your earaches and possibly take antibiotics to tackle the infection.
- Natural habit. Some people simply grind their teeth – it’s a natural habit that can last a lifetime. If this is the case, you want to find a way to break the habit. In most cases, a night guard will help you stop grinding your teeth altogether. Eventually, the guard will train you to stop grinding. In the end, teeth grinding is one of the hardest habits to break, so you really want to make it a top priority.