Dr. Judith Y. Ko

Dr. Judith Y. Ko
Hemet Valley Dental Care

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Why Am I Grinding My Teeth?

Bruxism is the term used for when people grind their teeth. It occurs generally a night when a person is asleep and often unaware they are even doing it. But what causes grinding or bruxism? According to Dr. Judith Ko, your Inland Empire’s Top Dentist, “Bruxism is often caused by anxiety, stress or tension. It’s why we often see college students suffering during mid-terms or finals, or why when a business professional has an important deadline they also present with a broken tooth.”

While anxiety and tension lead the list of reasons for bruxism, grinding can also occur when a person has suppressed anger or rage issues, or is someone who is aggressive, competitive or hyperactive in nature.

“And sometimes grinding can be the result of bite or occlusion issues with how the upper and lower teeth fit together,” adds Dr. Ko.

Why is this an issue? “When your teeth do not fit together correctly and when you are grinding due to anxiety, it produces unnatural wear to the teeth and too often results in the cusps of teeth being broken,” says Dr. Ko.

What can you do? A first step is to be evaluated. A comprehensive exam will generally give your dentist an idea of what is going on. Most times bite issues can be corrected with some adjustment, or a night guard may be recommended to protect the teeth. “While the fix is relatively easy and affordable, doing nothing is just not the smart option. Teeth that are damaged enough to need a crown are often also the ones that need root canal treatment. Excessive bruxing and grinding can loosen teeth and the wear can prevent you from enjoying your food,” adds Dr. Ko.

Don’t wait. If you think you may be someone who should be evaluated, call today and schedule an appointment!

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