Also known as bruxism, grinding of the teeth is an issue that mostly takes place at night and can be characterized by jaw clenching. It can affect people of any age, gender or race, and it can have significant long-term effects on the teeth for some people. At the offices of Grant Dental, we’re here to help. In some cases, teeth grinding can be hard to identify until you get into a family dentist office like ours – but here are some possible causes of grinding teeth to watch out for.

Anxiety and Stress

According to the Bruxism Association, almost three in every four cases of teeth grinding are due to anxiety or stress. Stress doesn’t simply go away when you go to sleep – you still feel the tension, but it often is shown in your jaw and muscles. Job-related stress is the largest single factor here, and this can develop into a vicious cycle where your job performance suffers due to lost sleep while your sleep suffers due to poor job performance.

Medication Side Effects

In other cases, certain medications can cause teeth grinding at night as part of their side effects. Drugs for sleep, anxiety or depression all may raise your risk of bruxism slightly. Antidepressants, in particular, have a high rate of this kind of bruxism development.

Sleeping Disorders

Another link with bruxism is a sleeping disorder. Disorders that may increase your risk of teeth grinding include: Sleep apnea, breathing pauses while sleeping, nighttime acid reflux, snoring, and various forms of parasomnia (sleep talking, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, etc.). Speak to your family dentist if you have any of these conditions.

Other Issues

In other cases, malocclusion might cause bruxism – this is when your teeth are misaligned and don’t line up properly when you chew. Any issue like this that causes the teeth to meet improperly when opening and closing the mouth can destabilize the occlusion of the jaw, which stresses the joints and muscles nearby. This can trickle down to bruxism in many cases. To learn more about teeth grinding and possible solutions, or for any of our cosmetic dentistry servicesspeak to the staff at Grant Dental today.

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