Frequently clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth for no reason is an oral medical condition called Bruxism, and should be dealt with seriously. An expert dentist in Katy at Darling Dental revealed that one in every three people suffers from bruxism. Bruxism can occur at any given time, at the age of 50 or even as a child sleeps. Although moving your jaw may seem like a harmless involuntary action, it can cause long term damage to the jaw joint, to teeth and their roots, while also leading to chronic headaches.
What Causes Bruxism?
- Anxiety or Stress– Studies show that about 70% of bruxism cases are a result of stress. When a person is stressed, he or she develops nervous, repetitive movements to relieve the physical tension. This habit can be anything from clicking fingers to playing with one’s hair, biting nails and, for some, grinding of teeth. Orthodontists & pediatric dentists suggest that you find an alternative way to vent your stress, such as therapy or exercises, to reduce the risk of developing bruxism. Under pressure, it is a natural reflex for humans to clench their jaws tightly together and grind their teeth. However, stressing over little things and frequent clenching of the jaw can misalign the jaw bone and should be checked.
- Hyperactivity– Hyperactive disorders are also associated with teeth grinding, since they lead to the generation of excessive nervous energy in the person. Individuals suffering from ADHD also have higher stress levels that can lead to bruxism. Unchanneled energy is common among people with attention deficit, who often find relief through bruxism or other repetitive actions.
- Medication – Bruxism may also develop as a side effect of an antidepressant drug. Understand the side effects of any medication you consume and if the symptoms show up, consult your doctor to change your prescription.
Family dentists have also noticed cases of bruxism to be very common in children with baby teeth. Causes of bruxism in children can be mouth breathing, sleep apnea, dental malocclusion and psychological problems. Children who have a habit of grinding their baby teeth may not need special attention, since these teeth will fall off. However, if your child does not abandon the habit naturally, you may have to visit a children’s dentist for a check-up.
Bruxism, when caused by stress, can be treated through psychotherapy, biofeedback exercises and other relaxing activities. Dentists in Katy often prescribe anxiolytics and other muscle relaxants to reduce the grinding and spasms in the jaw, if any. Some might even need a bite plate to restrict jaw movement. If the problem persists, you can consult an oral surgeon too.
Other ways to treat and even prevent bruxism include wearing a mouthguard while sleeping or performing jaw exercises to keep the joint healthy. You can also seek help from the best dentists in Katy, who provide bruxism management services.