Tooth grinding happens as a result of the habitual act of consciously or unconsciously clenching your teeth. The clinical term for this rather puzzling habit is bruxism. Bruxism can happens either during the day or while you are asleep at night. Kids and adults alike can suffer from this annoying habit.
The actual cause of tooth grinding is almost a mystery, but somehow dentists tend to relate it with stress and anxiety. They may sometimes come together with the effect of tension, suppressed anger or frustration. People with certain traits of aggressiveness, competitive or hyperactive type of personality are the riskiest group to confront teeth grinding. Anxiety with Neurosis also tends to aggravate the condition of tooth grinding.
The other possible cause of tooth grinding is poor bite alignment due to the arrangement of the teeth themselves. Poor bite alignment can come naturally via occurrence of extra teeth or if there is a new dental filling done by your dentist.
The unusual urge or need to clench teeth that are not normally situated together comes as a natural reaction that sometimes tends to turn into an unstoppable habit. Some experts say that it could be due to the activation of the reflex chewing activity that simply goes wrong.
People with poor stress management skills tend to make the worst of this initially minor health issue. Some say that it has something to do with a weakness or some disorder with the central nervous system. For some children, teeth grinding is simply a response to pain from an earache or teething. They will most likely outgrow the problem eventually.
Some physicians theorized that certain medical conditions such as digestive ailments and anxiety can trigger bruxism or tooth grinding symptoms. Psychological conditions and disorders such as Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease have also been know to trigger tooth grinding.
Some rare cases of dislocated jaw either naturally or via accident can cause a poor bite alignment, which consequently triggers a tooth grinding habit. There are also uncommon side effects of some psychiatric medications, including certain antidepressants that cause bruxism.
Although tooth grinding is not a major health issue, it can bring about problems that affect the mouth, jaw and face and eventually lead to losing teeth and even broken dentures. Other than that, tooth grinding is an annoying habit that can be bothersome especially if you happen to produce those grinding sounds at night that disturb other peoples sleep.