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Why do some people grind their teeth?
Some people grind their teeth at night. Not only is this annoying, but it can put your dental health at risk in the long run. What is behind it and what helps against it.
Grinding, grating, squeezing — some people work their jaws hard at night. However, many sufferers do not realize that they are grinding their teeth while they sleep. Dental grinders often only know about it when they and their partner wake up at night. Nocturnal jaw activity can become a problem. But why do some people grind their teeth in the first place?
It is estimated that one third of the population grinds their teeth. In the five, this develops into a chronic problem. Women are affected more than men. Teeth are usually pulled, rubbed, or pressed together while you sleep. This is because in the subconscious – especially during sleep – the protective reactions against excessive chewing are inactive. Teeth grinding: Inside, the teeth clench with much greater pressure than when chewing. Some people only clench their mouth while sleeping without gnashing their teeth, which can also lead to pain.
Tooth grinding can lead to tooth loss
If the teeth are pressed with great pressure, the tooth enamel is rubbed. Consequences: Tension in the jaw muscles that can lead to pain in the head, neck or facial area. In addition, abrasion can lead to severe damage to the teeth and even tooth loss.
When stressed, people subconsciously tighten the muscles of the neck, shoulders and back, but also the face and jaw area. In bruxism, as a technical term for teeth grinding, the teeth are literally clenched. A major factor in this behavior is stress. Health insurance company AOK reports that most people grind their teeth between the ages of 30 and 45. Doctors distinguish between sleep bruxism (sleep bruxism) and wakefulness (wake bruxism) — yes, some people grind their teeth during the day too.
Excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol or nicotine as a cause
But not only stress can lead to gnashing of teeth. If the bite is incorrect, teeth grinding can result. The causes could be misaligned teeth, ill-fitting crowns, or ill-fitting fillings. The impact of excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol, and nicotine has also been discussed in science. Genetic predisposition or diseases such as sleep apnea or reflux can be the cause of teeth grinding.
Anyone who frequently experiences soreness or tension in the jaw muscles after waking up or discovers traces of grinding on their teeth should go to the dentist to check if they grind their teeth chronically. In practice, it can then be clarified whether misaligned teeth or disease can be the cause of bruxism. Treatment for bruxism depends on the stimuli.
If teeth grinding is related to stress, relaxation methods such as self-training, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help. What immediately protects the teeth from further wear is a bite splint that is worn at night. It is made of plastic and rests on the upper or lower jaw.
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sources: AOK, Association for Dental Hygiene, Functions and Aesthetics, Netdoktor, Dentists Hamburg