Anyone who thinks that gnashing teeth is just an unpleasant habit is wrong. The unconscious grinding of teeth is called “bruxism” by dentists and is a serious disease. More and more people are suffering from this new widespread disease. If left untreated, bruxism damages the teeth, chewing muscles and jaw joint in the long term. This can result in even worse diseases such as periodontitis, tinnitus, chronic headaches, migraines, dizziness, impaired vision or depression. Bruxism occurs in most cases as sleep bruxism, but can also occur during the day as awake bruxism.
What are the causes of teeth grinding?
The causes of bruxism are manifold. Triggers can be stress, psychological stress, anxiety, tension or excessive demands. Orthopaedic problems of the jaw joints or incorrect tooth positions can also trigger grinding of the teeth. In particular, also the processing of mental problems in the sleep releases such involuntary chewing movements. Psychotropic drugs, alcohol, coffee and nicotine are also considered risk factors and can have negative effects. The question of whether a genetic predisposition also plays a role in this disease has not yet been conclusively clarified scientifically. However, stress is often mainly responsible for the involuntary, mostly unconscious grinding of the teeth.
What helps against gnashing disease?
The insidious thing about this increasingly common evil is that it is often not noticed by those affected or only noticed late. Therefore, the first and most effective measure is a regular visit to the dentist. Usually, patients suffering from bruxism are still prescribed a so-called bite splint. The bite splint is intended to prevent the common complaints caused by the incorrect loading of the jaw joint and teeth due to the constant chewing activity. The actual cause of the nightly grinding of teeth, however, is not eliminated. Some of those affected therefore wear the bite splint for a lifetime. Dentists now also recommend alternative procedures:
People who grind their teeth at night are often not well rested, which further increases stress. Physiotherapy knows certain relaxation exercises that can be performed comfortably at home. If the exercises are carried out consistently, the crunching activities are reduced and the chance of a restful sleep increases. This breaks the vicious circle of “sleep disorders”. Yoga and Thai Chi are also suitable for improving sleep disorders caused by uncontrolled chewing. Just try them out.
These procedures are targeted for anti-stress training. Meditation, biofeedback and autogenic training help to cope with stress, combat psychological tension and effectively reduce the unpleasant crunching movements.
The simultaneous use of both methods is particularly recommended. The combination of psychotherapeutic and physiotherapeutic measures can often bring about complete healing. Homoeopathy is also an effective help against teeth grinding at night. By administering certain active substances in homoeopathic dilution, mental stress, performance pressure, sleep disorders or nervousness can often be alleviated. A number of tried and tested active substances are available for natural history therapy with homoeopathic remedies. Among other things: