Your teeth have many functions, but primary among these is to break down the food that we eat. And with this, of course, comes the wear and tear associated with tearing, chewing, and, yes, grinding. But when we unnaturally grind our teeth or habitually clench our jaws, the amount of wear and tear can become dangerous. Have you been asking yourself, “Why do people grind their teeth?” Are you, or is someone you love, exhibiting the symptoms of excessive teeth-grinding? If so, it is time to reach out to a team of professionals, like the ones at Zeal Dentistry.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Chronic teeth-grinding, a condition referred to by dentists and orthodontists as “bruxism,” involves the clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth when one is not chewing. There are many possible answers to the question, “Why do people grind their teeth?” just as there are many symptoms of teeth-grinding.
One of the most important things to understand about bruxism is that many people — in fact, perhaps most people — who suffer from it do not even know that they are grinding their teeth. This ignorance on their part is most often because the symptoms of teeth-grinding are not always obvious and don’t present themselves until days, weeks, or months have already passed. But many do not recognize that they are grinding their teeth because they only do so while they are asleep, or when they are in stressful situations.
The fact of the matter is, the question “Why do people grind their teeth?” almost always has a single, simple answer: stress. Most health professionals agree that teeth-grinding and jaw clenching are unconscious responses to the pressures of life.
How Do I Know If I Am Grinding My Teeth?
Even though those who suffer from teeth-grinding may not experience the symptoms right away, the damage that it inflicts can be quite severe, especially over an extended period. Further complicating the situation is that the condition may be hard to diagnose, at least initially, because the symptoms of teeth-grinding are relatively common in a variety of conditions.
If you are unsure whether you are grinding your teeth in response to stress while you sleep, you can start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Does my jaw hurt, especially in the morning? Am I experiencing facial pain in general?
- Have I been experiencing a higher-than-usual number of earaches or headaches?
- Have I lost any fillings? Or do I have any loose fillings?
- Are my teeth increasingly worn down? Have I noticed any cracked or chipped teeth?
Because the pain associated with teeth-grinding can progress so slowly and incrementally, it can be difficult to identify the problem. And because you are in all likelihood unaware that you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, you may not correctly identify the cause of the pain. Additionally, physical effects on the teeth can also occur gradually, and so they may also be difficult to associate with teeth-grinding. This is why it is so important to reach out to a professional like Dr. Sebti and the team of specialists at Zeal Dentistry.
Contact Zeal Dentistry Today
“Why do people grind their teeth?” Perhaps the more important question is, “What can I do about it?” If you suspect that you or someone you love may be grinding their teeth, don’t hesitate: reach out to a specialist today. Dr. Sebti and the team at Zeal Dentistry have a long history of helping patients avoid and treat the effects of teeth-grinding. Call us today at 415.792.4771.