Gaiduchik Orthodontics

I Grind My Teeth: Can You Help?

Feb 06, 2023
I Grind My Teeth: Can You Help?
If you grind your teeth, you may have tooth damage, headaches, facial pain, and relationship problems — you need help. Here’s how we can curb your habit and save your health and social life.

Next to snoring, bruxism (teeth grinding) is one of the top complaints from sleep partners. The loud crunching and squeaking of teeth on teeth keeps bedfellows awake and frustrated. But your relationship isn’t the only casualty of bruxism. 

Here, Dr. Andrey Gaiduchik explains the consequences of grinding your teeth and how we can help at Gaiduchik Orthodontics in Carmichael, California. 

What happens when you grind your teeth?

Bruxism affects about 30% of adults in the United States, and up to 15% of them grind their teeth at night without knowing it. While it may not seem like a big deal, when you consider that the human jaw can exert up to 250 pounds of pressure, the potential problems become clear. Here are a few of them:

  • Muscle tension in the face and jaw
  • Tooth enamel damage
  • Tooth fractures
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Earaches
  • Jaw locking
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Jaw dislocation
  • Flat teeth

In addition to keeping your bed partner awake, bruxism can mess with your quality of sleep as well. Some studies have linked bruxism to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition where your airway collapses and repeatedly stops your breathing throughout the night. While researchers still aren’t clear about the cause of the correlation, the two conditions often co-exist. 

Poor sleep quality has its own set of complications, such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Mood and personality changes
  • Memory issues
  • Higher risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Weakened immunity
  • Weight gain
  • Higher risk for heart disease
  • Low libido

Daytime drowsiness can also lead to workplace and driving accidents. 

Risk factors for bruxism

So, why does a third of the population suffer from bruxism, but the others don’t? Scientists are still trying to pinpoint the exact cause, but until they do, it’s good to be aware of the risk factors:

  • Anger issues
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Antidepressants
  • Certain anxiety medications
  • Excess caffeine consumption
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Bruxism may also be connected with certain medical conditions like dementia, GERD, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and ADHD. 

How to prevent teeth grinding complications

Teeth grinding is usually a symptom of an underlying problem. The key to treating it is identifying the root cause and addressing that. Meanwhile, Dr. Gaiduchik can help protect your teeth and your overall health by creating a custom night guard that fits the unique contours of your mouth. 

The appliance is comfortable and safe, and when you wear it nightly, it prevents tooth damage and silences the sound of grinding teeth, so you and your partner can awake well rested.

If you also have OSA, Dr. Gaiduchik designs the device to keep your lower jaw in a forward position to keep your airways open and your breathing uninterrupted. 

To learn more about night guards for bruxism and OSA, contact us at Gaiduchik Orthodontics online or by phone today.