Why do I Grind My Teeth at Night?

Do you grind your teeth? People are made aware of this in various ways: some are told by partners and some will find out after being awakened in the middle of the night by the noise their own teeth make.

Teeth grinding is an involuntary habit which causes destructive effects in the mouth as well as other facial structures, and it is a condition that affects individuals of any age, race or gender. The intensity, frequency and directional forces that can be recorded will be different with every patient, so that observed effects may vary. Some patients will exhibit wear facets limited to the anterior teeth; some will have destroyed posterior teeth; some will present with wear limited only to a specific quadrant, jaw or side; and some will show wear and tear on all teeth.

A number of people are diagnosed to be grinding teeth on a regular basis and these patients are prescribed with the appropriate treatment, based on their need. So "why do I grind your teeth at night?", many patients may ask.  To better manage the condition, it is essential that the “cause” be known:

Why do I Grind My Teeth at Night?  Possible Causes:

  • Stress and Anxiety: The most common cause of teeth grinding are stress and anxiety. A person who is constantly stressed and currently put in a stressful condition, manifest their stress during sleep, as the over-activity of the muscles of mastication. 
  • Side-Effect of Medications and Medical Conditions: Night grinding is also observed as a drug side-effect. A patient taking psychotropic drugs such as antipsychotics and antidepressants, may develop teeth grinding as a side-effect of drug use and it may also manifest the habit as a side-effect of digestive problems. 
  • Sleep Disorders: Sleeping disorders are found to be related with teeth grinding. It is believed that people who are found to be suffering from different kinds of sleep disorders are at a higher risk of developing the habit. 
  • Effect of Lifestyle: A number of lifestyle practices are believed to bring about grinding teeth habits to people. Examples of these activities include: alcoholism, recreational drug use, increased intake of caffeinated drinks and excessive smoking. While not exactly directly responsible for causing the teeth grinding, people who maintain this kind of lifestyle are at a higher risk of developing the condition. 
  • Malocclusion or Uneven Bite: When a patient loses a tooth or a few teeth, changes occur in the mouth of the patient such as migration of the teeth to a position that gives them an uneven bite. Malocclusion affects the joints that control the movements of the jaw and these series of events are often believed to cause teeth grinding in some people. An uneven bite destabilizes the occlusion of the jaw, bringing considerable stress that causes bruxsim.

Looking at the root of the problem is essential because it gives you a better picture of the condition. When you know what is causing it, problem elimination achieves a higher success rate. This is true for all kinds of medical conditions and this is true for bruxism.

Do you grind your teeth at night?  Read on about teeth grinding treatment.