Current statistics show that 50-96% of adults grind their teeth at some point in their life, being most common in adults 25 to 44, yet there isn’t a clear reason as to why this occurs. Excessive tooth grinding, gnashing, and/or jaw clenching is known as “Bruxism” which is a condition when you unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake or clench/grind them during sleep. Many different factors can cause someone to start grinding their teeth, and we have listed the some of the most common causes below:
- Sleep Disorders
- This is one of the leading causes of tooth grinding, which is another reason why we see most teeth grinding occurring during the night. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most severe of sleep disorders and almost often causes bruxism.
- Your habits and a variety of lifestyle factors can contribute to tooth grinding, including excessive drinking, smoking, and chewing gum. Even caffeine from tea, coffee, soda, and chocolate can cause tensions that could ultimately lead you to grinding your teeth.
- Medications and Illnesses
- Some antidepressants and psychotropic medications can create conditions leading to bruxism because of their side affects.
- Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease are known to be associated with tooth grinding.
- Abnormal Bite
- Misaligned and/or missing teeth can greatly contribute to tooth grinding.
If you fall into one of these categories please speak to your dentist at Smith Dental Care to ask about purchasing a mouth guard. Wearing a mouth guard at night can provide relief if you find yourself grinding your teeth at night.
Are YOU grinding your teeth at night?
Headaches, physical discomfort of the jaw, or face muscle pain are a few common indicators of someone who grinds their teeth. Tooth grinders are three times more likely to experience headaches and stress is a common trigger that creates tension in the jaw.