Teeth grinding, or bruxism as it is clinically called, is the act of unconsciously grinding or clenching the teeth, either during the day or at night. It affects not just the teeth but the whole bone structure around them including the jaw. As such it is a dental problem but also considered a larger medical concern. Teeth grinding during the night is as common a complaint as snoring but because the noise is not as obtrusive little is done about it.
One of the main causes of teeth grinding, doctors believe, is stress. Dentists tend to lean more towards it being a physiological condition caused by the misalignment of teeth. In children it is almost certainly caused by the accelerated growth of the jaw and teeth.
In circumstances where the teeth are not aligned correctly, grinding is an involuntary reaction to try and make them fit together better. This can lead to a number of other dental problems. Teeth can become worn down and flattened and the enamel, which protects the teeth from bacteria, is eroded which causes cavities. Other physical symptoms you might experience are pain and tightness in the jaw and possible headaches.
Common treatments for teeth grinding range from the psychological to the preventative. Many believe that stress management will reduce the instances of teeth grinding. Dentists will often recommend using a mouth guard when sleeping to protect the teeth. Teeth that have been worn down can be repaired with crowns and other treatments such as bonding. Ask a West London dentist if you or someone you know suffers from teeth grinding. They can suggest the best method of treatment to help you get a good nights sleep.