Do you or another member of your family grind your teeth during sleep? If so, other members of the family may find this a nuisance because some individuals who grind their teeth create noise that is loud enough to cause sleep disturbance. They may grind their teeth and appear to be sleeping well. This can cause others not to awaken them.
Parents may not want to wake up sleeping children who grind their teeth out of concerns that their children may not be able to get back to sleep. If the noises are not bothersome, it might be easy to dismiss teeth grinding as unimportant. In fact, if it's a baby who has the habit, you might find it "cute." However, teeth grinding is not an issue to take lightly because it can lead to oral health problems.
You might refer to it as teeth grinding, but it is a medical condition with a name. In the medical field, professionals refer to it as bruxism. The sound is produced when individuals clench their jaws during sleep and rub their upper and lower teeth together in a rhythmic motion, which produces the sound.
Many people do not realize that they are grinding their teeth, but some individuals may wake up. This can cause problems with the afflicted individual's sleep patterns. Individuals with bruxism may also clench their teeth during hours when they are awake but likely will not grind their teeth.
Some individuals who have had issues with bruxism for many years may attribute their condition to certain factors. Stress is a common contributor, and some individuals may only notice the issue if they are exhausted when they fall asleep. Bruxism can also be a familial trait that may impact several members of a family. It can also be caused by issues with crooked teeth. This might also be an indicator of a potential family tie if there are multiple members of a family with misaligned teeth and bruxism.
There is more at risk than lost sleep from bruxism. It can disrupt daily life due to jaw pain. Individuals may also have headaches from bruxism and could develop severe mandibular conditions that cause pain. Damage to teeth surfaces can occur as well as advanced misalignment over time.
A family dentist can discuss teeth grinding with you. There are a number of interventions that can correct the problem. The correct solution will depend on several factors, so do not get discouraged if one treatment does not work or stops working for you or your loved one. By keeping your family dentist informed, you can improve the chances of successful treatment for bruxism. Mouthguards may be used for mild and moderate cases, and orthodontics or surgery may be needed for advanced bruxism. For more information, contact a family dental service like Thomas Krull, DDS, PC.