Teeth Grinding or Bruxism as it is medically termed refers to clenching or grinding of the teeth. It is generally harmless and does not cause any symptoms or problems. But regular and persistent grinding of teeth may cause jaw pain, headaches, earache and wear down the teeth. In most cases, teeth grinding takes place while you are asleep and is thought to be due to stress and anxiety. Some believe that it could be due to the intake of antidepressants, alcohol, recreational drugs such as cocaine etc. Smoking tobacco also increases your risk of teeth grinding. A number of treatment options like behavioral therapy, muscle relaxation exercises and following proper sleep hygiene may help control the symptoms. Use of mouth guards or mouth splints or mandibular advancement devices may protect your teeth from further damage. Lifestyle changes like reducing alcohol consumption, quitting tobacco and managing stress may also help reduce teeth grinding.
Authored By Dr. Shylaja S Prasad - Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics, Bangalore