According to many Palm Beach cosmetic dentists, grinding teeth is not an uncommon problem. Medically termed as ‘bruxism’, grinding teeth on a regular basis may result in a range of oral health problems.
Anxiety and stress are two of the main causes of teeth grinding and is known to occur mostly while sleeping. Therefore, people tend to be unaware of the fact that they have this habit. If your jaw feels sore or if you have a dull, never ending headache, then these may indicate that you have bruxism. An abnormal bite, crooked teeth or missing teeth may also lead to unconsciously grinding your teeth at night. Those who suffer from sleep apnea are also reported to grind their teeth at night.
If you have been told by a loved one that you grind your teeth at night or have become aware of the habit on your own, then the next step is to seek out a cosmetic dentist to examine you for signs of bruxism. The dentist will inspect your mouth for excessive wear on your teeth and tenderness in the jaw to diagnose the condition. In specific cases, where teeth grinding have occurred for prolonged periods of time, the results can be quite devastating. This may result in loosened teeth, fractures or the loss of teeth. In rare cases, chronic grinding may even wear teeth extensively until they are nothing but stumps. If the effects are serious, they will need to be addressed with crowns, root canals, implants, bridges or even partial or complete dentures. In extreme cases, the damage may reach your jaws and change the shape of your face.
If stress is the cause of bruxism for you, then you will need to look into medication that will reduce stress. Counseling, exercise and muscle relaxants may help in some cases but others may need a surgical approach to repair the damage. Taking on relaxing activities and making a conscious effort to not clench or grind your teeth can help you break the habit. If the teeth grinding is caused by a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, then it will need to be treated to eliminate the habit.