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Teeth grinding is pretty scary to hear. If you happen to be awake at night and hear a loud grinding and crunching sound, that means that someone in your home has a tooth grinding problem. You may even have teeth grinding issues and may not even realize it! There are many reasons that people grind their teeth at night and believe it or not, but it is actually pretty common. There are ways to stop or help the issues, which is why we wanted to create this blog! If you are interested in learning about teeth grinding and braces, continue reading. 

How do I know if a family member or I grind their teeth?

As mentioned, you can hear if a family member grinds their teeth at night. Teeth grinding mainly occurs at night while the person is sleeping. Most people do not even realize that they grind their teeth at all. Some ways to tell if you are teeth grinding at night are if you wake up in the morning with a headache, sore jaw, sore teeth, and excessive wear on teeth. 

What is the reason people grind their teeth?

The main reason people grind their teeth is due to stress in their lives. People with bad anxiety also tend to grind their teeth at night. Other reasons people may grind their teeth is due to the way their teeth are structured. If a person has missing or crooked teeth or an abnormal bite, they are more likely to teeth grinding at night. 

Can teeth grinding be harmful?

Teeth grinding can be very harmful. If it is not stopped or helped in any way, it can lead to loosening, fracturing, or loss of teeth. If teeth grinding persists for years and increasingly gets worse, a person can easily wear their teeth down to stumps. When teeth are ground down to stumps, the only way to fix teeth is to get root canals, implants, crowns, bridges, partial dentures, or complete dentures. Not only can teeth be affected, but your jaw can become injured. 

Can braces help?

If you grind your teeth due to abnormal bite or crooked teeth, braces can be a way to help ease or get rid of the grinding. Orthodontic treatment, or getting braces, can be enough to stop horrible nighttime teeth grinding. It is not an overnight fix, but over time, slight movements of teeth will bring more and more comfort and ease. 

What other ways can reduce teeth grinding?

As we mentioned, stress and anxiety are the causes of teeth grinding. Ways to ease stress are exercise, counseling, muscle relaxants, and physical therapist. Other methods are to cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol. Alcohol tends to intensify after alcohol is consumed. Avoid chewing on pencils or objects that aren’t food, as well as gum. Also, if you find yourself clenching your teeth during the day, you need to train yourself to relax your muscles. Positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth can help the muscles to relax. For tight jaw muscles in the evening, a warm washcloth that is held to your cheek can help the muscles as well.

Be seen by a dentist and then an orthodontist

If you feel that you or a family member are experiencing teeth grinding, it is beneficial to be seen by your dentist. They will be able to tell you precisely what is going on and what needs to be done to prevent further damage to your teeth. Your dentist may suggest that braces are required to fix the positioning of teeth. If that is the case, there is no issue! Just be seen shortly after your dentist says so. Do not be afraid to get checked out, you could be preventing long term damage. 

We hope you found this blog helpful! Teeth grinding can be harmful, and most people do not even know they do it. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call! If you are ready to make your appointment with us, you can visit our Omar Orthodontics website.