Animators have been using teeth grinding together with fumes out of ears and a red face to convey the image of a furious person. While most of these reactions pertain to the realm of fantasy, teeth grinding is, unfortunately, a reality for many people. Even though this movement has been linked to anger and stress, it happens most of the time during sleep. Recently, scientists called this an unhealthy reaction, which can trigger major oral problems.
When people start grinding their teeth, it probably means that they are trying to relief some of the stress they are dealing with. This usually happens when the body is fully relaxed, yet the mind is hyperactive. This state can take place only when people are sleeping. This condition makes it difficult for most persons to discover whether they suffer from such a reaction or not. Usually, if someone wakes up with an inexplicable headache or jaw soar, these are signs of bruxism, which is the scientific name for teeth grinding.
Scientists declared such a habit as unhealthy as this puts great pressure on a person’s teeth and jaws. This can lead to enamel damaging and even loss of teeth. People that are repeatedly grinding can wear their teeth off until they turn into stumps. In these cases, the patient will need certain oral interventions, such as crowns, root canals, bridges or implants. Other special cases require even complete dentures. Since people put pressure mostly on jaws, other side effects can be a change of the physiognomy.
To protect the oral health from bruxism, people should take several protective measures against it. Doctors advise them to avoid consuming beverages high in caffeine, such as cappuccinos, sodas, and hot chocolate before night time. If the problem is related to high level of stress, the affected people should find a way to relax more during the day. Some of the beneficial new measures can be taking up an exercise program at the local gym or home, visiting a therapist or asking the doctor for muscle relaxants.
However, not all cases of teeth grinding are the cause of stress. Since this condition affects even young persons who have not taken yet enough social responsibilities to become so strained, the scientists looked for other triggers. Thus, they found that while asleep, the body relaxes so much that it can lead to breathing issues. As the airways get partially blocked during night time, the organism is trying to reopen them with teeth grinding.
Image source: 1