Teeth grinding is a problem that affects millions of Americans and can result in serious dental damage. While the problem is common, many with the condition don’t get treatment as early as they need it. This is because a significant amount of teeth grinding happens at night. The signs in the morning may be nonspecific, making it hard to know what’s going on. As a result, it may take years to find out what’s going on; at which point irreversible damage may have been done to your teeth. Here’s what you need to know to stop grinding your teeth today.
Why You Grind Your Teeth
While the exact cause isn’t well understood, there are a few reasons teeth grinding can occur.
- Emotions: Periods of stress, anxiety, anger, frustration or tension can all lead to grinding.
- Personality: Aggressive, competitive or hyperactive people are more likely to grind.
- Habit: Some people grind their teeth when coping with stressful situations or to help focus.
- Substance use: Smoking, drinking caffeinated beverages, alcohol use or illegal drug use can all increase your risk of becoming a grinder.
- Medical conditions: Those with jaw misalignment, sleep problems, acid reflux, Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease, or who take psychiatric medications may also experience teeth grinding as part of their illness.
If you think you might be grinding your teeth, think about whether you fit into one of these categories.