Teeth grinding, or bruxism, occurs when a person unknowingly grinds or clenches their teeth. Mild cases may not present any symptoms, but more severe cases can lead to damaged teeth, facial pain, disorders of the jaw, TMJ and other issues.
Teeth grinding causes may be physical or psychological. Doctors suspect that stress is particularly to blame because it disposes a person's sleep. People may subconsciously grind their teeth in an effort to vent anger, anxiety and stress. Dislocated jaw joints or misaligned teeth are physical issues that can cause excessive grinding. Vitamin deficiencies can also lead to bruxism. Low levels of calcium in the body can cause involuntary movements and muscle contractions. A deficiency of magnesium can also cause muscle spasms leading to clenching and grinding.
There are a number of things people can do to stop teeth grinding. Techniques to relieve stress can be extremely helpful. These include relaxation methods, massages and meditation. To prevent damage from teeth grinding in sleep, mouth guards are the ideal product. There are also mouth guards available for use during the day, and they can be custom-made by a dentist. A dentist can correct any dental issues that may be causing the grinding. When grinding is caused by a nutrient deficiency, a multivitamin or single vitamin can be used to boost the level of nutrients in the body. For more severe cases where there is damage to the joints or jaw bones, surgery can be used to perform repairs on the joints and bones.
To prevent damage to the teeth, it is important to get some type of treatment as soon as possible. Anyone who has symptoms of teeth grinding can try at-home remedies and techniques. They are very effective at providing relief in mild cases. If symptoms persist, see a dentist for an exam.