Teeth Grinding: Effects, Causes, Solution And What It Does To Braces?
Teeth grinding is a common occurrence among people, causing long-term problems for grinders themselves, while it’s not the most pleasant sound to hear. Teeth grinding, or Bruxism as its known in the medical field, is not a well-known problem, as people tend to do it sub-consciously, most likely in their sleep.
While there is no actual derived cause for this problem, although it’s more or less related to stress or anxiety related issues, there are, however, solutions to curb the issue.
What Happens When You Wear Braces?
Braces are used on a patient for various reasons, like an underbite, spacing, upper front teeth protrusion, crowding, crossbite, overbite, malalignment of the teeth etc. Part of the problem with teeth grinding is concerned with malalignment of the teeth. Dentists offer the idea of braces when any or all of these problems mentioned above are present in the patients. In a way it’s safe to assume, braces are more of a solution to teeth grinding problems and not otherwise.
Symptoms Of Teeth Grinding
- Teeth that are flattened, chipped or loose
- Worn tooth enamel
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Jaw or face soreness upon waking
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- A dull headache originating at the temples
- Indentations in your tongue
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
Effects of Teeth Grinding
Teeth Grinding might not be a life-threatening problem, but sure is something that has long-term consequences on one’s dental health. Teeth grinding in the chronic state could lead to fracturing, loosening or even losing the teeth altogether. If such a situation occurs, dentists offer solutions using dentures (partial or complete), root-canal, implants, bridges or crowns. Grinding wears the health of the tooth down considerably.
Can Teeth Grinding Harm Your Braces?
Braces and retainers are orthodontics used to correct teeth that are in a disorderly manner. Braces hold the teeth in place and additionally improves the person’s bite and smile.
Once the braces do their job of aligning the teeth in the right order, retainers then begin theirs to keep them in place for some time. Grinding often is caused by the misalignment of teeth. Most likely there are chances when the person wears those braces; the grinding could continue, and get even severe in the first few weeks, as the teeth are not used to the braces. Eventually the grinding, after wearing braces will reduce as the alignment comes in the right order. This grinding usually does not affect the teeth in any manner, as it is quite sturdy in its make and design.
Tips To Stop/Reduce Teeth Grinding:
The basic solution your doctor will give you is a mouth guard, which when you grind would not harm your teeth. A mouth guard will not act as a solution, as there are other factors in play. Stress is one of the primary reasons for teeth grinding, and doctors could help you solve it and subsequently reduce grinding.
Stress counselling, exercise regime or sessions with a physical therapist could help. Doctors could also prescribe muscle relaxants as a possible solution. On the other hand, a sleeping disorder could also aggravate teeth grinding, and solving that would help in reducing the problem. We have a list of tips known to help reduce the problem of teeth grinding to a great extent.
- Alcohol consumption is known to intensify teeth grinding, so avoiding alcohol as much as possible could help.
- Caffeine is another such problem which could lead to grinding. Cutting back on foods or drinks including colas that contain caffeine could go a long way to help reduce grinding.
- Avoid chewing gum, as it could help the jaw get used to the clenching routine.
- Chewing stuff other than food; like pencils, plastic or paper would not help.
- If you notice grinding when you are working or doing daily activities, make sure you consciously place your tongue between your teeth. It is a relaxing muscle technique and will help train yourself not to grind.
- Relaxing jaw muscles will also help a lot; you could do it by placing a warm wet cloth on the cheeks area at night before sleep.
Teeth grinding is a problem which will not solve by itself, and there needs to be a lot of effort required from the patient. Doing things as per the doctors say and cutting down on daily stuff including food or drinking habits etc. Grinding might not seem like a damaging problem as of now but could lead to multiple teeth problems, including fractures or reducing gum power in the long run.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.