Dentists across western countries, including our own dental clinic in Kelowna have had patients come in with the issue of nocturnal teeth grinding. This is a medical condition called sleep bruxism that can really damage your teeth. Why are more of us grinding our teeth at night?
The ‘s’ word: stress. Our Kelowna dental clinic tends to see more cases of bruxism in women in their twenties and thirties who are juggling work and little ones and all the other stresses of modern life. Stress, anxiety and tension are thought to be some of the leading causes of teeth grinding.
And that’s why dentists across North America are also starting to see more cases of bruxism in teenagers stressed out about exams and grades.
One Canadian study on nocturnal teeth grinding showed about eight per cent of people suffer from teeth grinding, and that the prevalence of teeth grinding decreased with age—probably because people have less stress as they get older.
Whatever the age, bruxism can cause irreparable damage.
What happens when you grind your teeth in your sleep? You’ll find yourself waking up with a sore mouth, facial pain and headaches. Those are just some of the temporary side effects. Long-term, you could be chipping away at the dentine in your teeth.
Dentine is a calcified tissue that’s sandwiched between the outer enamel and the inner soft tissue of nerves and blood vessels. When teeth decay, it’s that soft tissue that aches, and damaged dentine tends to speed up tooth decay.
What are the other side effects of teeth grinding? Small teeth, lost facial shape and shrunken faces as well as aching jaws, receding gums and, of course, the perils of disturbed sleep.
How can you treat the pain caused by teeth grinding?
- Muscle relaxants
How can you prevent teeth grinding?
- Address the underlying mental stress you’re experiencing.
- Take part in healthy stress-relieving activities such as exercise, yoga and meditation.
- Mouth guards. Our Kelowna dental centre fit dozens of patients every year with mouth guards for patients so they can protect their teeth from grinding. Learn more in our post Kelowna Dentists Protect Grinding Teeth with Night Guards.
Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!
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