The question is why does a person grind their teeth?
Bruxism can be caused generally by
- Chronic pain (e.g. could be painful nerve in the foot, compressed inflamed disc in the spine, or a painful osteoarthritic hip)
- Struggling to breathe through a compromises airway (sleep apnoea ie cessation of breathing for 10
- Life’s anxieties (divorce, job, relationships etc)
- Combination of two or more above
Presentation to a dentist or a doctor will be with headches, facial pain, limited opening of the jaws, jaw noises (popping and clicking), Bruxism (grinding and clenching), worn teeth, broken teeth, sleep disordered breathing such as sleep apnoea, snoring etc.
It is important to understand that the head and the face is the monitor of the health of the body. The chewing muscles are in balance with the muscles in front of the neck and the muscles in the back of the neck. These muscles have a particular amount of activity and tone which is based on the stimulation it gets from the brain and the spinal cord (Central Nervous System). People clench, grind or both because of increases stimulation from the brain or spinal cord (Central Nervous System) which directly results from various amounts of pain, breathing dysfunction or anxiety leading to breakdown of the toughest joint in the body
Migraine, cluster headaches, hypnic headache, morning (tension) headache in both adults and children are related to sleep apnoea and disturbed sleep.
Headaches have been found in 65% of patients with nocturnal bruxism (night time grinding).
People who grind their teeth use 3 times the force than people who do not.
Bruxism happens as a subconscious activity and therefore unawareness of the activity is common. People brux more when they are on their backs and they also suffer more sleep apnoea in that position.