Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, refers to grinding, gnashing, and clenching the teeth. In some people, teeth grinding can cause a lot of problems. Sufferers can experience headaches, jaw disorders like TMJ, and tooth damage.
Physicians and researchers have been unable to clearly identify the causes of bruxism. It seems as though the condition may result from a combination of factors related to genetics, psychology, and physiology.
It is believed that depressed, anxious, and emotionally stressed individuals are more predisposed to develop bruxism. The condition is even associated with certain personalities, particularly those we often refer to as “type A.” Because teeth grinding is sometimes considered a physical manifestation of an emotional response, it is thought that people who suppress their feelings are more likely to suffer. People who are obsessive, nervous, and hyperactive are more commonly diagnosed with bruxism. The condition is also seen to intensify during periods of stress, such as death in the family, divorce, and overworking.
Many studies have suggested that bruxism runs in families. In a review of ten different studies that were compared, a strong link was determined. Four of the studies looked at families, five compared twins, and one was focused on DNA. All but one of the twin studies concluded that bruxism is, at least in part, genetically determined.
Alcohol consumption has been associated with sleep bruxism, especially excessive consumption. Sleep patterns are broken by alcohol. When alcohol is present in your body during sleep, your neurons react differently, which results in changes in motor activity and, often, bruxism.
Tobacco, caffeine, and some recreational drugs have a stimulant effect. Any chemical that promotes muscle activity and is associated with frequent waking can cause or worsen bruxism. According to research, users of these substances are more likely to report teeth grinding.
Anti-depressants, specifically SSRIs, are known to cause teeth grinding and jaw pain in some patients. While researchers have been unable to find the epidemiological cause of this, they can record the prevalence.
A link between certain disorders and bruxism has also been noticed by researchers. Those who have Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, GERD, epilepsy, night terrors, sleep apnea, and ADHD are more likely to experience teeth grinding.
There are a variety of potential causes of teeth grinding. Whatever the reason you’re suffering from jaw pain, headaches, or risk of tooth damage, a high-quality mouthguard can offer relief and prevention from worsening. Sentinel Mouthguards offers custom-made, high-quality, durable mouthguards. Your dental health is worth investing in.