4 Surprising Truths About Tooth Grinding

Bruxism, commonly known as chronic teeth grinding, also involves clenching the jaws. You may not even be aware that you have bruxism if you mostly grind or clench your teeth at night. Although mild forms of the condition may not require treatment, its moderate to severe forms have been linked to teeth damage. Here are four more things you may not know about chronic teeth grinding: 

It's Linked to ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental condition in which the sufferer is hyperactive and unable to control his or her impulses or pay attention. The link between ADHD and bruxism goes both ways. On one hand, children struggling with bruxism are likely to develop ADHD. Those who are diagnosed with ADHD early in life also tend to develop sleep problems, including bruxism.

It's More Common in Kids than Adults

Although teeth grinding can start at any age, it is more common in children than in adults. According to some statistics, approximately 15% of children grind their teeth, but the percentage reduces to about 3% in adulthood. The longer you grind your teeth, the more enamel you stand to lose. This means those who start grinding their teeth in childhood are likely to have serious enamel erosion by the time they reach adulthood if they don't stop.

It Hurts More Than Your Teeth

The primary damage attributed to teeth grinding occurs in the form of teeth damage. Bruxism can lead to cracked teeth, enamel erosion, damage tooth restoration and other forms of physical damage to your teeth.

However, the effect will not be confined to your teeth. It places considerable strain on your jaw joints, which can lead to painful temporomandibular joints and restricted facial movements. In severe cases, it can also lead to frequent headaches that cannot be treated by the normal treatments for headaches.

It Can be Treated

Despite all its complications, teeth grinding is a treatable disorder. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. For example, if it is stress-induced, then you need to tackle your stress issues first. Many of those who grind their teeth do so due to sleep disorder; a correction of the same can help to combat bruxism.

Bruxism treatment includes dental approaches (such as the use of mouth guards), therapies (such as stress management), and medication (such as muscle relaxants). Consult your dentist to help you determine whether your teeth grinding is serious enough to warrant treatment, and which treatment option is right for you.