December 16, 2007

Do you grit and grind your teeth?


grinding teethThe effect of stress on our health is such that there is hardly any disease or condition (physiological or psychological) that is not directly or remotely connected to it. Teeth grinding or bruxism, is one such condition. We all use teeth to chew and grind food. But when one starts gritting and gnashing teeth for no particular reason, it is referred to as bruxism. It is often triggered by psychological and emotional stresses, over-anxiety and sleep disorders, apart from jaw discrepancies, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. Both children and adults can be affected by it.

In most cases it occurs in the night, usually while one is asleep. Sometimes the person may not even be aware of the fact that he/she is clenching his/her teeth. It could go unnoticed too. Usually the family members hint about this to the person by complaining as to how his/her steady chatter caused by clenching and grinding of teeth disturbs them. Some people with bruxism unconsciously clench and gnash their teeth during the day also when they feel overtly tense.

If the gritting is mild, it might not be such a cause for concern; it could even disappear on its own. But in some cases the constant grinding causes wearing away of teeth, fractures in teeth, sore jaws, headaches etc. Often there is pain in the jaws, headache, increased sensitivity towards very hgritting teethot or cold food and many such symptoms. A visit to the dentist might confirm bruxism. To eliminate discrepancies in teeth, the dentist might fit a mouth guard to protect teeth during sleep. He/She might even suggest muscle relaxing exercises for the jaw. Psychiatric counseling, exercise and meditation are also advised to relieve stress or tension, if that is the cause of bruxism. Severe cases of bruxism are also considered for treatment by botox. A cosmetic dentist will be able to repair worn down, misshapen teeth damaged beyond recognition by bruxism. This is done by fitting dental crowns to realign, reshape and rectify the teeth.

Related Reading:
Correcting a gummy smile
Teeth Whitening Remedies
Pic credit:fotosearch.com



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8 comments:

  1. Albert | UrbanMonk.Net12:59 PM

    This is very helpful. My nephew grinds his teeth so loudly when he sleeps, and I was looking for info on this.

    Cheers,
    Albert | UrbanMonk.Net
    Modern personal development, entwined with ancient spirituality.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to know that you found the information useful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://www.jhsiess.com9:32 PM

    Thanks for participating in the Christmas Edition of the Carnival of Family Life which will go live at midnight (Pacific time) on December 24, 2007 at Colloquium!

    ReplyDelete
  4. thanks for submitting your post to the Mommy Blog Carnival. it'll be included in the next edition!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous5:25 PM

    Make a conscious effort to relax your face and jaw. If you suddenly feel that you are becoming tense, try to focus on loosening and stretching your facial muscles.
    Take a walk or breathe deeply. These are some of the stress-relieving techniques that can keep you from clenching or grinding your teeth.
    Caffeine and decongestants are stimulants that can make your muscles tense. Avoid these as much as possible.
    Enroll yourself in a stress-reduction technique class so that you will be able to manage your stress effectively. Before going to bed, try taking a hot bath or listen to soothing music so that you will be able to relax. Drinking a glass of warm milk will also be helpful.

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  6. Dakshayani6:05 PM

    My son at 8 years was always overtly hungry & yet thin, restless at night with grinding of teeth. Several times Doc gave him deworming tablets but of no use. Also he would cough often and compalin of dryness in the throat which could not be felt good even by drinking water.Then I read your post Thanks

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  7. may be having worms in her stomach get it deworming and also give iron syrup or iron injection or iron in any form

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  8. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety it is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.
    In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect her jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of her face.If stress is causing your child to grind her teeth, ask her doctor or dentist about options to reduce her stress. Attending stress counseling, seeing a physical therapist or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.Other tips to help her stop teeth grinding include:Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.Do not allow her to chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
    She should avoid chewing gum as it allows her jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes her more likely to grind her teeth.
    Train her not to clench or grind her teeth. If you notice that she clenches or grinds during the day, tell her to position the tip of her tongue between her teeth. This practice trains her jaw muscles to relax.
    Relax her jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against her cheek in front of her earlobe.Approximately 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth. Children who grind their teeth tend to do so at two peak times – when their baby teeth emerge and when their permanent teeth come in. Most children lose the teeth grinding habit after these two sets of teeth have come in more fully.

    Teeth grinding can cause jaw pain, headaches, wear on the teeth and TMD. Consult your dentist if her teeth look worn or if she complains of tooth sensitivity or pain.

    Some more tips to help your daughter stop grinding her teeth :Decrease her stress, especially just before bed.Try massage and stretching exercises to relax the muscles.
    Make sure her diet includes plenty of water. Dehydration may be linked to teeth grinding.
    Ask your dentist to monitor her teeth.
    No intervention is usually required with preschool-age children. However when she gets older she may need temporary crowns or other methods, such as a night guard, to prevent the grinding.It is best to try and decreas her stress levels as much as possible for now and when she gets a little older to get a mouth guard for her...hope this has helped :-)

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