About eight percent of Americans grind their teeth at night according to the National Sleep Foundation. The sound made by grinding teeth has a similar effect as the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. Sleeping with a person who has this habit can be nerve-wracking. Fortunately, your family dentist in Cypress has answers for eliminating or minimizing this trait.
Similarly, teeth clenching is another habit that should be addressed and not left unchecked. Both teeth grinding and clenching cause oral health problems. Seeking relief from your family dentist in Cypress can improve your quality of life by restoring oral health.
Causes of Teeth Grinding and Clenching
While specific causes of teeth grinding are not clear, there do seem to be a host of factors that play a role in these habits. Of these, the most prevalent factor appears to be stress and/or anxiety. Not everyone, but many people who have excess stress in their lives report grinding their teeth while they sleep. They may not be aware of the habit, but their bed partner is usually very aware of due to the noise generated from grinding.
While stress and anxiety appear to be the main factors, personal habits can play a role as well. High caffeine consumption, alcohol use and cigarette smoking are often contributing factors; however, these are also often indulged in as a result of stress overload or anxiety, or both.
Physically, fatigue, snoring and sleep apnea are often related to teeth grinding while sleeping. In some instances, when a person is taking amphetamines or other medications they may grind their teeth during sleep.
Another cause of clenching and teeth grinding is associated with a lack of patent airway. When a person has sleep apnea, clenching and teeth grinding is more likely to occur. Usually when the airway problem is eliminated, so is the bruxism.
Over 15% of America’s kids grind their teeth at night. Many kids will outgrow the habit, but some may have airway issues. Advanced studies such as those done at Village Park Family Dental reveal that young children may have large tonsils, adenoids, deviated septum of the nose or deficient development of the airway and maxillae. If your child is one of the millions with bruxism, it’s advisable to have them examined for airway issues.
Your Family Dentist in Cypress Can Help
It is important to find a solution to grinding and/or clenching your teeth. These habits can produce serious dental problems over time. The tooth enamel gets worn down, and if that happens to a certain degree, the underlying soft layer, dentin, could become exposed. This causes those teeth to be more susceptible to decay. These habits can also cause teeth to break or crack. They can also be a source of headaches and jaw pain or discomfort.
Getting the problem diagnosed and treated by your family dentist in Cypress will avoid further damage to your teeth. Our LVI trained dentists can help you get the pain relief you crave. Village Park Family Dental is a place where you can expect quality dental care delivered with excellence and compassion. Call today and schedule an appointment with us.