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Bruxism: Do you Grind your Teeth when Asleep?

  By posted May 31st 2012
Healthy Living


Bruxism: Do you Grind your Teeth when Asleep?

Teeth grinding or bruxism is like snoring, it occurs while you are asleep; for the most part, you are unaware about it, but your partner’s sleep is disturbed and your partner is the first one to tell you. If you think that bruxism is a phase that will stop on it's own, you are wrong. As with snoring, you will need help to overcome it. Teeth grinding is a catalyst for major dental problems. From teeth clenching to teeth grinding we take a look at what makes and breaks your pearls.

Bruxism in children: There are two times when children grind their teeth - first, when they are babies and then, when their teeth emerge. But this doesn’t have a permanent effect on the child, except bouts of headaches, painful jaws and worn out teeth.

As they grow and their permanent teeth develop, some children tend to continue grinding their teeth. The reasons are unknown but it is believed that irregular teeth on the upper and lower jaw create friction. Illnesses like allergies, endocrine disorders and stress are to be blamed too.

Signs of Bruxism: Grinding, gnashing, grating, or clenching the teeth are the prominent signs,  all of which result in loud sounds. If you are grinding your teeth, you are sure to experience headaches and a sore jaw the next morning.

Causes behind Bruxism: Teeth grinding is medically known as Bruxism, and its causes are debatable. Stress is the main perpetrator, but crooked teeth or a missing tooth are also to blame.

Solutions: The dentist will provide you with a teeth guard. In extreme cases, you may need root canals, crowns, bridges, implants or even complete dentures. Therefore, if your partner complains about loud teeth gnashing sounds from you regularly, then your first line of attack on bruxism is a visit to the dentist.

What to avoid : Firstly avoid stress, try exercise or meditation to combat it. Secondly, change your lifestyle, which would include avoiding coffee, caffeine and alcohol. Stop chewing on gum and everything else that is not food. Make a conscious effort to stop unhealthy oral habits.

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images



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