Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, involves grinding or clenching the teeth together. There are some who grind their gnashers occasionally, but bruxism is becoming increasingly common and dentists across the country have witnessed an increase in the number of patients coming to see them with symptoms associated with teeth grinding.
Why is it that people grind their teeth?
There is a multitude of causes for people who grind their teeth. The most common cause is stress and dentists have recently experienced a boost in the quantity of patients grinding their teeth. Research suggests that the recession has contributed to an increase in stress and many dentists have reported seeing a growing number of bruxism patients who work in the finance industry or own struggling small businesses. Stress in these cases is caused by the uncertainty of the future, concerning their jobs, paying their bills and finding a new job in the event of a redundancy.
Research has also suggested that personality can determine whether or not people grind their teeth and studies suggest that highly motivated people with aggressive ‘can-do’ attitudes are more likely to grind their teeth, as they often work in high pressure, high risk environments.
Teeth grinding can also be caused by a bad bite (this is the way the top and bottom teeth fit together). If the teeth do not fit together properly, this may cause the individual to grind their teeth.
Treatment for bruxism usually depends on the cause of the problem, as addressing the cause will hopefully help to stop grinding. However, if this does not work, your dentist might advise you to wear a shielding mouth guard during the night, so as to avert damage to the teeth. The mouthguards are custom-made so they are fitted snugly to your teeth and mouth for optimum comfort.
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