Bruxism: Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Bruxism: Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Last update: 25 September, 2017

Has anyone ever told you that you grind your teeth during the night? Have you ever felt pain in your jaw when you wake up in the morning? If so, you might suffer from bruxism, an unconscious nighttime habit. Bruxism is involuntary, and it normally occurs due to stress or some problem that’s causing your mind to spin. Bruxism causes difficulty and exhaustion when chewing hard foods.

Grinding one’s teeth might not seem like a very serious condition at first glance. However, chronic bruxism can affect your teeth and your jaw. Therefore, it’s important to use certain methods to prevent it, and to discover why it’s happening in the first place.

Bruxism can’t be controlled

Bruxism can’t be controlled the way you control opening and closing your hand, since it tends to occur at night and you’re not aware of it. Your teeth unconsciously rub together, wearing them down and making them more sensitive. Over time, your teeth might not fit together as well as they should.

All of this can cause serious jaw pain in the morning. Although, in certain cases, it can also occur during the day. Imagine that you have an assignment to turn in last minute. Your state of concentration and level of anxiety over finishing the job on time can make you forget that you’re squeezing your teeth together too tightly.

jaw pain 2

In this state, you’re not aware that you’re moving your teeth slightly, causing them to rub against each other. You just notice a stiff and strong pain in your jaw. You might also get a headache. There are cases where the person puts so much pressure on their jaw that they create problems opening and closing their mouth normally.

Bruxism is a warning sign of stress or anxiety.

Bruxism can go even further and cause problems like earache, difficulty eating, and tooth sensitivity. Although you might be able to identify these symptoms, the only person who can really verify that you suffer from bruxism is your dentist, so you should go to them to be properly diagnosed.

Psychological causes of bruxism

Like we mentioned already, stress seems to play a big role in the grinding of teeth. An excessive workload or problems in your personal life can be potential causes. But what if you don’t know the cause? What if you grind your teeth at night without knowing why?

Bruxism can also have a clear neurological component. It can be caused by an illness like multiple sclerosis. Other times, it’s the way the jaw and teeth are positioned that causes it.

gears in mouth

But the most common causes are related to unresolved problems and experiences that left a mark on you, that you thought you had left behind. They’re still there, and this is their way of manifesting.

Ignored tension and problems have to get out somehow, because they contain a lot of energy that shouldn’t accumulate in your body. There are various ways for the body to release tension, but bruxism is one that’s hard to consciously control. So if your prone to anxiety or don’t handle stress well, you might be susceptible to bruxism.

Yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques can help you relax and keep your bruxism under control.

There are many ways to free yourself from this habit. Going to yoga classes, practicing relaxation techniques, and describing your symptoms to a specialist can help.

Perhaps the most commonly used remedy is wearing a mouth guard, which can reduce the negative effects on your dental health, although it doesn’t solve the causes.

mouth guard

If you suffer from bruxism, it’s important to find out what might be causing it. It’s important to take care of your mind, and grinding your teeth can be a call for attention from your body asking you to reflect on your life.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.