Teeth grinding is a common condition that affects almost everyone. In medical terms, this condition is known as bruxism. Many people involuntarily grind their teeth when they're asleep. Though it is observed in both adults and children, it is more commonly found in the latter. Statistics indicate that approximately 15 to 30% of all the children grind their teeth in sleep. It is not harmful condition. However, if it is neglected and happens on a regular basis, it can have serious consequences. Most people do not realize that they are grinding their teeth while sleeping. This is because it is an involuntary process. However, there are certain ways to prevent it and minimize the damage they can cause.
The exact reasons for teeth grinding are not yet known. However, certain causes have been identified. It is observed more commonly in people experiencing high stress levels. Other reasons such as abdominal bites and missing or misaligned teeth are also responsible for causing teeth grinding. Since teeth grinding happens involuntarily during the sleep, it can be difficult to identify it. You may not even be aware that you are grinding teeth at night. However, there are certain symptoms which are a clear-cut indication that you are suffering from bruxism. If you experience headaches or pain in the jaw in the morning, you should contact your dentist to check if you are suffering from bruxism. The dentist will perform a checkup and observe the teeth for signs of grinding. If he believes that you are suffering from bruxism, remedial measures will be prescribed.
There are also certain ways to prevent teeth grinding at night. Since it is caused mainly by stress and anxiety, you should take steps to relax yourself and prevent stress. You can try meditation, relaxation therapy and other such techniques to relieve stress. Alternatively, you can also approach a counselor to reduce stress levels.
It is better to avoid foods such as tea or coffee and other drinks which contain caffeine. Caffeine suppresses sleep and causes insomnia. Insomnia is another reason for teeth grinding. You should also avoid alcoholic drinks because these are known to cause bruxism. However if none of these work, it is better to take the help of your dentist and evaluate other options.