Prevention of teeth grinding

Probably, you have heard people saying “when life was hard, I clenched my teeth and survived”. It is thought that many people clench teeth when tension and anxiety are felt or decisions are made but this happens with different intensity. If we are more sensitive, constant tension is felt at work or in life in general. At night, the state of stress is less controlled, and it may manifest itself as rubbing teeth against each other. The cause of this phenomenon is not quite clear. It is considered that it is a phenomenon of the central nervous system or a form of a sleeping disorder. However, many agree that the decisive factor here is psychological tension.

Due to constant teeth clenching or grinding, they abrade faster, chewing muscles and joints of the jaw bone ache (see Facial pains (treatment of chewing muscles and joints)).

We ourselves are not aware that we grind teeth or that we often clench them. This is shown by a specific pattern of wear: those parts of teeth which usually do not have any contact when chewing, i.e. biting edges of incisors, abrade.


Abraded edge the canine tooth

Upon noticing dental wear or when multiple crown crumbles are visible, fillings or artificial crowns do not stay in place and crack, it is necessary to urgently see a competent dentist. In the majority of such cases, abraded spots are restored and protective mouth guards are manufactured. It is prerequisite to protect natural teeth from abrasion. Otherwise a vicious circle forms, i.e. teeth abrade – they need to be restored – fillings and dentures also abrade and crack.


Thus, the cause for teeth grinding is usually not present in the mouth. In many cases worn teeth should probably be considered to be the consequence of the fast pace of civilisation. We work, think, analyse so much that we do not even notice what our body is doing at that time, how tense it is. We need to constantly learn to control tension in our life at any time. The agenda should be analysed, i.e. the pace of life should be slowed down, it should be tried to change the attitude towards the circumstances that cannot be changed. Efforts should be made to feel tension as seldom as possible, as short as possible. It is very beneficial to develop an ability to notice the position of teeth (a normal state: lips are closed, there is a small opening between teeth). In more severe cases a psychologist’s consultation would be useful. It is very difficult to teach oneself to notice own tension but it is worth trying because not only chewing muscles, joints or teeth suffer. According to the World Health Organisation, 80 per cent of diseases are related to stress.


Plastic mouth guard for upper teeth

It can be learnt to control the clenching force at a day time by making daily efforts, however at a night time it happens unconsciously. Therefore, mouth guards of various constructions are manufactured for protection of teeth at night. When there are a lot of restored teeth in the mouth, it is necessary to use mouth guards at night to protect dentures or fillings.

Up to now, no universal method has been offered which would completely prevent form teeth grinding. Merely mitigation of its consequences is possible.



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