Do You Clench and Grind? Should You Be Worried?

In spite of the fact that we live in one of the most advanced eras for medical breakthrough, some conditions that plague humankind still remain a mystery. One of these conditions is a behaviour known as bruxism. This is the tendency of an individual to clench and grind his or her teeth, involuntarily. If you suffer from this condition what do you need to know and should you take any action?

Age-Old Problem

Apparently, researchers and archaeologists have traced the existence of bruxism back for centuries and it seems therefore that it's not a "modern day" affliction. But the type of life that people lead today is very different to that of the old days. This is why scientists have not been able to categorically determine the cause, although they believe several factors are involved.

Who Is at Risk?

The popular avatar of a person who suffers from bruxism is one who is very driven, often under stress, may be anxious and even a little depressed. In other words, a "type A" individual who is always on the go. It seems that other factors may be at work as well, and this condition could be a result of some underlying sleep related disorders with their breathing mechanism.

What Can Go Wrong?

If this condition becomes acute then it can cause significant dental problems. A tremendous amount of force is exerted when the teeth are ground together in this way. This energy can be so extreme that it can actually break dental work like a bridge or a crown. It can wear teeth down considerably over time, spurring the need for new dental work in order to provide proper function.

Lifestyle Changes

Some people think that the use of chemicals can exacerbate the situation. Those that use illegal drugs, smoke heavily or drink excessively could benefit from a lifestyle change in order to help them with their teeth grinding problem. It's also possible that some types of prescription medication can cause the issue as a side-effect. This possibility should be discussed with a medical practitioner, in order to diagnose an alternative.

Reducing Stress

If bruxism is a type A pastime then it's likely it could benefit from techniques aimed at stress reduction. A warm bath just before bedtime could be in order. Why not initiate a "digital sunset," where all electronic devices are switched off hours before going to bed? Meditation can also be helpful.

Guarding the Teeth

Finally, a dentist may be able to create a night guard that can be worn over the upper teeth. This may help cut down on the damage while other techniques are applied.