What Causes Teeth Grinding?

Tmj Dentist Baltimore, MD

Teeth grinding is when a person rubs their upper and lower teeth against each other repeatedly. Although most people grind their teeth while sleeping, it may also occur during the day, albeit unconsciously. Extensive teeth grinding and clenching has harmful effects on the oral cavity. Continue reading to know the causes of this condition.

Causes of teeth grinding

Although there is no specific cause of bruxism, dental professionals believe that psychological, physical and genetic factors can contribute to the condition. Teeth grinding during the day may be due to anxiety or stress. Nighttime episodes may be caused by any number of the following factors.

Stress

Severe stress and anxiety is perhaps the leading cause of teeth grinding. When faced with high-stress situations, people subconsciously resort to jaw clenching or teeth grinding as a coping mechanism. When dealing with stress at work or at home, patients may end up subjecting their jaw muscles to excessive mastication throughout the night.

Medical conditions and medications

Teeth grinding may also occur as a side effect of some drugs. The condition is prevalent among patients using antipsychotics, antidepressants and psychotic drugs. Anyone experiencing this condition needs to talk to a dentist about available treatment options before it causes irreversible damage to the teeth.

Bite misalignment or malocclusion

The loss of one or more teeth in the mouth may contribute to certain changes in the bite and mouth. Other teeth may start to shift into the open space on the jaw and cause bite misalignment. This may cause problems with the jaw joints (TMJ); it is believed that TMJ disorder may cause teeth grinding and vice versa. The constant movement of the jaw as the tongue reaches for the gap or a change in bite are both related to teeth grinding and may cause oral health issue in some patients.

Sleeping disorders

Sleeping disorders are often associated with teeth grinding habits. People that do not get quality sleep at night are susceptible to the condition.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle choices like smoking excessively, consuming a lot of caffeinated drinks, alcohol consumption and indulging in the use of recreational drugs may contribute to nighttime teeth clenching or grinding.

Medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease, dementia, mental ailments, sleep apnea, epilepsy, gastroesophageal reflux disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder can increase the risk of grinding the teeth.

The importance of treatment

If patients fail to seek treatment for teeth grinding, it may lead to tooth loss, fractures and loose teeth. Tooth pain and inflammation may also occur. Constant grinding will wear down the teeth and reduce their height to the point where additional restorations, such as crowns, bonding or veneers, may be required.

In severe cases, teeth may need to be replaced with crowns, bridges or implants. Moreover, if TMJ disorder develops, it may cause changes to the face. In addition, patients may experience severe jaw and facial pain, as well as tension headaches.

In conclusion

Knowing the origin of the problem will help the dentist understand how to tackle the issue and provide an optimal solution. If you notice signs of teeth grinding, visit the dental office for diagnosis and treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://www.perkinsdentalbaltimore.com or call Perkins Dental Care at (410) 789-0551 for an appointment in our Baltimore office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Baltimore, MD.

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