Teeth grinding during sleep are hard to control and the causes of bruxism are numerous.
In severe condition bruxism can cause serious impact on health. Constant repeated grinding of teeth during sleep can strain the jaw muscles and lead to jaw pain, facial pain, tooth pain, stiff and tender jaws, headaches, earaches and teeth damage leading to fractured tooth.
These are some of the causes of teeth grinding-
Bruxism is not a reflex activity (involves conscious brain activity) rather it is a neuromuscular activity that is controlled by either conscious or subconscious brain activity. Thus, during sleep and in some during conscious waking time, subconscious brain processes can take in control, causing teeth grinding.
- Anxiety, tension and stress- About 70% of teeth grinding occurs due to stress, anxiety and tension. Emotional stress is the key element that triggers bruxism in an individual. Stress during day hours is subconsciously expressed by grinding or clenching during sleep at night. Any emotional or physical stress, tension, anxieties, worries and anger can trigger teeth grinding at night. It is known to disrupt one’s normal sleeping cycle and when a particular cycle is disrupted, one can end up grinding and clenching at night during sleep. Therefore, stress is one of the causes of teeth grinding.
- Suppressed frustration or anger- In many occasions, an individual clenches his teeth when he is terribly angry or upset with someone or something. Some individual may be angry with someone or angry on something but unable to let out his anger towards the subject. Such suppressed anger and frustration can cause teeth clenching and grinding during the day which is subconsciously expressed at night.
- Aggressive temperament- Expressed anger or aggressiveness towards the subject may cause an individual unintentionally grind their teeth in the course of action.
- Malocclusion- Abnormal alignment of the upper and bottom teeth also called as malocclusion is one of the causes of teeth grinding. Abnormal teeth structure and alignment can cause involuntarily grinding of the teeth against each other. This is one of the physical causes of bruxism. Also crooked teeth or missing teeth or abnormal bite (overbite or under bite) can cause you to grind your teeth involuntarily during sleep.
- Sleeping disorders- Sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea or OCD can cause bruxism.
- Reaction to pain- Response to teething in children is an example. Children grind their teeth in response to the itchiness cause by teething.
- Complications of some medical conditions- Bruxism may be cause by complication of another disease like Parkinson’s diseases or Huntington’s disease. Parkinson’s disease affects one’s motor skills and Huntington’s disease affects movement and coordination. Both the diseases are neurological disorders and individual suffering from any of these diseases are more expected to grind their teeth at night during sleep or even during the day. Also any digestive disorders and hypermyotonia (extreme muscular tonicity) can cause bruxism.
- Effects of medications- Certain medications such as Antidepressants, psychiatric medications such as antipsychotics and certain stimulants (amphetamine) are known to trigger bruxism. Most of the time bruxism takes place as a side-effect of taking these medications.
Some of the causes of teeth grinding include posture, diet, allergic reactions and traumas.
- Teeth Grinding Causes and Treatments to Stop Grinding
- Teeth Grinding During Pregnancy
- Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
- Can Teeth Grinding Cause Your Teeth and Gums to Recede and Lead to Serious Gum Disease?
- Can Teeth Grinding Cause Headaches?
- Teeth Grinding Mouth Guard for Kids to Protect Your Child’s Teeth from Getting Damaged
- Can a Toothache from Clenching Teeth be Treated?