Humans have strange habits. One strange habit many of us have is grinding our teeth. It may sound unusual, but most of us have this habit. Medically this is called Bruxism. It is not a harmful condition, but if it’s done on a regular basis it may damage teeth, and is known as chronic grinding. It can result in tooth loss and can also affect your jaws and how your face looks. Generally people grind their teeth while they are sleeping, but there are two other reasons why grinding occurs: stress and anxiety. The stranger fact is that people do not know they are grinding their teeth as it happens when they are sleeping. This results in headaches and a sore jaw. Your parents, your spouse or even your friends will be the best people to tell you whether you suffer from this problem while sleeping.
As soon as you find out you suffer from teeth grinding, you need to see your dentist. You can have a splint fitted, which helps in preventing teeth from grinding. If it is caused by stress you need to attend stress relieving sessions or start doing regular exercise. You can use muscle relaxants but try to avoid getting into medications. There are certain foods which if avoided, can help in reducing teeth grinding. These include:
• Any food containing caffeine, such as chocolate, cola and coffee.
• Alcohol intensifies grinding.
• Avoid chewing on pencils, pens etc.
• Before going to sleep you can use a warm wash cloth on your face. This will relax your jaws.
As far as kids are concerned, nearly 15% to 35% grind their teeth and mostly during the time when their baby teeth are coming out or when their permanent teeth are developing. Why do they grind their teeth? The reasons are mostly the same as that for adults.
Be cautious and vigilant about your condition. Early treatment can help avoid a lot of problems. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call the team at Richardson Dental Surgery on 6862 1261.