What Causes Teeth Grinding?

Were you aware that babies grind their jaws in-utero?

Yes, it’s true. Teeth grinding is just as mysterious as the gift of life. It was only recently that doctors and dentists have discovered some interesting facts regarding “the grind”. This research has miraculously redefined what we know about teeth grinding and has also shed some light on how we diagnose sleep apnea.

“So, Why Do I Grind My Teeth At Night?”

When you sleep your body enters into a relaxed state, resting up for the next day.

When the brain drifts into deep sleep, doctors have found that the jaw becomes heavy and creates airflow blockage. What the tongue is doing at this time is expanding to almost twice its size, which is an added obstacle for air to enter the breathing pipe.

Researchers who studied people with partially blocked airways noticed the grinding of their subjects teeth. The grinding of the teeth helped to move the tongue and allow for air to enter the airway. In short, grinding gets the sleeper breathing again.

“If Grinding Helps, Then What’s The Issue?”

Teeth Grinding, also known as Bruxism, can be beneficial to a sleeper who can’t breathe but might harm those afflicted if it persists long term.
Bruxism can aggravate the Temporomandibular joints also known as TMJ. This could lead to tightness, pain, earaches and headaches.
Severe grinding can sand off enamel on your teeth that can lead to tooth decay and deterioration of dental work.
All these issues can lead to tooth sensitivity.

Take care of your mouth and make sure to talk with your dentist if you display any of these issues.

“So What’s Next?”

If you’re experiencing teeth grinding, or any issues resulting from it: don’t wait, schedule your appointment with Morrin Dental today. We have a stellar roster of surgeons, hygienists and friendly office staff who can help to eliminate any type of discomfort.

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