Our Statesville Dentist Explains Common Causes of Tooth Grinding

If your jaws and molars hurt at the end of a particularly stressful day, you might already be aware that you grind your teeth. Or perhaps your family dentist has spotted some wear on your back molars, and suggested tooth grinding as a possible reason. Whatever your situation, here is some information about tooth grinding from our Statesville dentist office that will help you bring this painful habit under control.

What are the causes of tooth grinding?

Teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or crooked. A study in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association also suggests that teeth grinding is associated with alcohol and tobacco use. The study found that people who drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth as those who don’t.

Common symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Dull headaches
  • Jaw soreness
  • Teeth that are painful or loose
  • Fractured teeth

The most common solution for tooth grinding at night is wearing a mouth guard while you sleep. In severe cases, your dentist or physician may even recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime.

If stress is the cause of your tooth grinding, your only solution is to reduce the stress and anxiety. Exercise, counseling, psychiatric medication, and medication have all been shown to help those who suffer from anxiety.

Teeth grinding in children and adolescents

Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because childrens’ teeth and jaws change so quickly, most usually outgrow it by adolescence. 

Although, in adults, teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:

  • Irritation in the mouth
  • Allergies
  • Misaligned teeth

If you’re concerned about your or your child’s teeth grinding, your dentist can help design a plan that will alleviate the symptoms.

Need a general dentist in Statesville NC? Schedule your Statesville dentist appointment today!