Bruxism is the habit of grinding one’s teeth, which can be exhibited by both children and adults. This habit is primarily caused by psychological factors like stress, anxiety and pressure.
Why do people grind their teeth?
With bruxism, teeth will remain clenched by active use of the chewing muscles even when the patient is calm. It has been determined that the teeth of people with symptoms of bruxism spend seven times more time per day in contact with each other than those of healthy people or those who have not been diagnosed with bruxism.
The constantly contracted muscles also disrupt the function of the temple-lower jawbone joint. Problems with the joint are a consequence of bruxism, not a cause.
According to physicians, bruxism does not have a single specific cause. Several factors can lead to bruxism:
Psychological factors – stress, nervous anxiety, phobias, emotional traumas, and various forms of depression. Many physicians believe that these are the most common and primary causes of bruxism.
In some cases, sleep disorders may also lead to bruxism.
Jaw bone growth and tooth sprouting periods. This is the primary factor that leads to bruxism in children. It is believed that grinding of the teeth is a physiological process in young children leading up to the formation of a consistent bite. It often manifests when the first milk teeth begin growing or when permanent teeth start sprouting – in other words, at about five to seven years of age. These symptoms usually disappear as children grow.
Bruxism must be treated
A majority of bruxism cases are noticed and treated late, when major prosthetic work or even tooth removal is necessary. Because of this, it is very important to identify existing bruxism as early as possible to treat the causes rather than the consequences that may later appear.
After feeling the first symptoms, it is recommended to contact an odontologist.
Usually, special dental trays are produced to treat bruxism. They protect the teeth, joint and muscles. The tray is placed in the mouth before going to sleep or is worn during the day if there are stressful situations or nervous anxiety.