Signs and causes of teeth grinding

Teeth grinding is a condition that involves involuntary grinding, clenching or gnashing of the teeth. Some people just grind their teeth when they’re stressed, but if it’s done repeatedly and regularly, it can cause tooth decay or other oral health problems. 

Check for these common signs and causes of teeth grinding, and how to prevent it!

Signs of teeth grinding

There are many potential signs and symptoms associated with teeth grinding. Frequent headaches, toothaches or stiffness in the jaw are just a few of them. Tooth sensitivity is a major sign of teeth grinding to be aware of. It is best to check your tongue and teeth in the mirror for physical signs of teeth grinding. Physical signs include worn tooth enamel, tooth indentations on the tongue and chipped or fractured teeth. 

Causes of teeth grinding

There are a couple reasons why you may be grinding your teeth. Stress and anxiety are common sources of teeth grinding, since stress can cause your jaw to clench and swing back-and-forth. Teeth grinding could also be due to an oral problem, such as a significant overbite or underbite. Orthodontics can help correct some of these oral problems by aligning and shifting teeth to their proper place. 

Finally, some medical conditions can lead to excessive teeth grinding. Sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and epilepsy are a few examples of conditions associated with an increase in teeth grinding. 

How to prevent it 

Although teeth grinding is usually not voluntary, there are ways to prevent it and reduce the damage it causes. First, relaxation is a great place to start when trying to correct excessive teeth grinding. Spend some time relaxing before bed, and massage your jaw often throughout the day if you notice tension.  Becoming conscious of the tension in your jaw is the first step to correcting it.

Prevent damage to your teeth by wearing a mouth guard at night. This protects your teeth from any jaw clenching and teeth grinding you may do while asleep. 

One way to find out if you struggle with teeth grinding is to visit the dentist! The dentist can check for common signs of teeth grinding, and help you find ways to prevent damage. Book an appointment with Jackson Dental today by calling (573) 243-5200 or stopping by Jackson Dental’s office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo.