Stress and anxiety – these are the primary causations of Bruxism or better known as tooth grinding. For some, tooth grinding could simply be their form of mannerism or habit to do when they get panicky.
Most people believe tooth grinding is just a simple habit which could not cause any harm. Many are also unaware that they do this because Bruxism usually happens at night. The only time a person will come to know of its existence is when someone complains about the annoying teeth grinding sound at night. When this happens on a regular basis, it is of the essence that you tell that person right away. He or she may already have developed other complications due to grinding their teeth.
The most common complication that tooth grinding may inflict a person is what we call “TMJ” or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. This is also known as “Lock Jaw”. When you have TMJ, there will be the presence of chronic pain when you chew, talk, eat, or simply open your mouth very wide. The definitive symptom of TMJ is when you suddenly could not move your jaw – hence the name “lock jaw”. Some may experience cracking feeling or sounds in the jaw area when they try to move it. There is also the presence of a dull, constant headache or sore jaw. If you are suspecting that you do this and find loosen bits of teeth present in the oral cavity, then let a friend or love one check if you are grinding your teeth together at night.
Ask your dentist where you can get a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. If you already have proved that you do grind your teeth when you are stressed out then you can request muscle relaxants from your dentist as well. Avoid or have less of foods and drinks that contain caffeine. These can increase your anxiety. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Avoid and always be aware not to clench or grind your teeth. To help relax your jaw, try holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe especially if you tend to grind your teeth at night.
It is always best to have a regular check up with your dentist so as you can be assessed if you have further concerns about tooth grinding or if you find you continue to grind your teeth.