Everyone’s teeth are used to a little bit of wear and tear. It’s part of their job, after all, to tear, grind, and break down the food we eat. It’s also true that most people grind their teeth or clench their jaws on occasion. But when teeth grinding — which is also called “bruxism” — occurs repeatedly and regularly, it can cause serious complications to your oral health. If you have been asking yourself, “Why do people grind their teeth?” or if you or someone you love is exhibiting the symptoms of chronic teeth grinding, it might be time to consult an orthodontist.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Bruxism refers to the clenching of the jaw and grinding the teeth when you are not chewing. There are numerous reasons why people may grind their teeth, just as there are many teeth grinding symptoms. But the first and most important thing to understand about bruxism is that people who suffer from it don’t always know that they are doing it. The failure to identify teeth grinding is due in part to the fact that the symptoms don’t always present themselves right away.
But it is also due to the fact that most people who grind their teeth do so in their sleep or when they are in stressful situations. In fact, the question “Why do people grind their teeth?” almost always has an obvious answer: stress. Most doctors agree that teeth grinding is an unconscious response to the pressures and anxieties of life.
Teeth Grinding Symptoms
The symptoms of teeth grinding may not appear right away, but teeth grinding can do severe damage over time. Chronic teeth grinding can also be hard to diagnose, at least initially, because the symptoms are not unique to teeth grinding.
If you are worried that you are suffering from teeth grinding, you can look for the following teeth grinding symptoms. Some of these may be more pronounced in the morning. And some may only occur over time. They include:
- Facial pain, particularly in or around the jaw joint
- Headaches and earaches
- Worn-down, broken, or chipped teeth
- Lost or loose fillings
The problem in identifying these symptoms is that in the case of the first two. They progress very slowly, and so may not be noticeable right away. And because you may not know that you are grinding your teeth or clenching or jaw while you sleep. You may not identify the pain as teeth grinding symptoms. In the case of the last two, they can occur very gradually, and so again may not be easy to associate with teeth grinding. This is why it is so important to reach out to a professional the moment you suspect that something might be wrong.
What Can I Do?
If you are wondering, “Why do people grind their teeth?” and are worried that you or someone you love may be suffering from teeth grinding symptoms, it is time to contact an orthodontist. At Ricci Orthodontics, we have a long history of successfully diagnosing and treating teeth grinding and are here to answer any questions and address any concerns that you might have. Reach out to us today at 678.932.0308.