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Can Grinding Teeth Cause Tooth Pain?

Can Grinding Teeth Cause Tooth Pain: Toothache is one of the most familiar concerns that can affect anyone at least once in their life. The pain felt in the episodes of a toothache can range from persistent dull pain to sharp, unbearable pain. Chronic dull tooth pain can disturb sleep while piercing tooth pain can cause people to shriek or wince. In either case, a toothache is difficult to manage.

Can Grinding Teeth Cause Tooth Pain? 

Mostly toothache is caused by damage, decay, or infection in and around the tooth. But, there is another culprit- teeth grinding. Whatever may be the cause, thankfully, a toothache is treatable. There are even ways to avoid toothache in the first place.

Learning the best ways to alleviate tooth pain caused by a grinding tooth is something that most bruxism patients are keen to explore. This article is a must-read for all those who grind their teeth and are at risk of experiencing tooth pain.  

What is Tooth Grinding?

It’s seriously harmless to occasionally grind or clench teeth. However, it may lead to toothaches or other minor dental issues. If teeth grinding is a habit, the condition is medically termed Bruxism.

Bruxism can be of two kinds depending upon what time of the day it happens: Awake (daytime) and Sleep (at night). Regular or excessive teeth grinding can cause damage to jaw muscles, teeth, and temporomandibular joints. It can even affect facial aesthetics.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Many people grind their teeth without even realizing it, often while sleeping. The signs that they might have bruxism include:

  • Wiggly or lose a tooth or tooth pain
  • Tooth fractures
  • The tooth seems flattened and not as sharp as earlier
  • Wearing down the tooth
  • A sharp jolt of pain while eating or drinking
  • Poor sleep
  • Intense pain radiating to ears, neck, and jaw
  • Facial pain or headaches, especially after waking up
  • Sore jaw muscles and jaw feeling tender to touch
  • Jaw locking
  • Clicking or popping sound coming from the temporomandibular joints.

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Habitual teeth grinding can be either subconscious or unconscious. This means teeth grinding can be when people are awake or while they are asleep. There are multiple causes of teeth grinding, including:

  • Stress or Anxiety- In such cases, people can naturally tense their bodies, including their jaws. Jaws may move during sleep and cause teeth to grind against one another.
  • Misaligned teeth or bite dysfunction
  • Missing or crooked teeth
  • Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues
  • Intake of certain drugs- such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (a class of anti-anxiety medications)
  • Bad lifestyle habits such as excessive alcohol consumption, drinking more caffeinated drinks, smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, and use of recreational drugs.

Why Does Toothache Occurs Because of Teeth Grinding?

Grinding teeth can cause toothache due to two possible reasons.

One is that such a habit tenses the teeth and jaw. Such stress or strain on the teeth and jaw can lead to an aching jaw, face, and neck.

Second is that grinding the tooth can damage the tooth which further causes toothache. Most tooth damages happen to the tooth’s enamel. An eroded tooth’s enamel exposes the dentin lying underneath. As a result, the tooth may become extremely sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. Other common damages include tooth fracturing or cracking, erosion of the sharpness of the bite, severe tooth decay, and even tooth loss. All of these damages could lead to pain or discomfort. The tooth’s functioning may also be negatively impacted.

How to Relieve Tooth Pain Caused by Grinding the Tooth?

Temporary relief from tooth pain is possible at home. The sufferers can have over-the-counter painkillers. They can apply an ice pack at the affected site to soothe their pain and reduce swelling. Also, they can use lukewarm salt water rinse to get pain relief as well as maintain good oral hygiene.

When tooth grinding is the cause of aching tooth, effective treatment of the bruxism is the best way to get relief from tooth pain. The best treatment can be determined after finding the underlying cause of bruxism.

There are several ways available to manage bruxism. The dentist at The Dental Specialist can help figure out the best combination treatment that suits the patient’s unique needs. Finding the best treatment may involve some trial and error, but finally, the patient can protect their natural smile and get peace of mind.

Here are treatment options for bruxism that can help achieve tooth pain relief.

Address the Underlying Cause of Bruxism

If bruxism is a result of stress, underlying medical conditions, or side effects of medications, addressing these causes can help relieve tooth pain from grinding. For stress, the patients are suggested relaxation techniques, counseling, and meditation. Sometimes, they may be prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications.

Some medical problems that have a strong link with bruxism include anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, acid reflux, and sleep apnea. These can be treated medically to put bruxism at rest. If any medications are to blame for bruxism, a change in their dosage or discontinuing their use can help. 

Use of mouthguards

Mouthguards or night guards are customized orthotic devices that can be fitted inside the patient’s mouth before sleep. They can help absorb all the strain/stress on the teeth created during teeth grinding. This way, they can help protect the teeth, jaw, and TMJs.     

Muscle relaxants

Teeth grinding can be because of hyperactive jaw muscles. Botox injections can help temporarily paralyze these muscles and allow them to relax and recover.

Repair tooth damage caused by tooth grinding

There are several options to repair tooth damage and restore a beautiful smile. Dentists place dental splints for the fractured or loose tooth. Other possible treatments include dental filling, root canals, tooth capping, and dental restorations for a lost tooth.

Orthodontic treatments

Orthodontic appliances can be used when there are bite dysfunctions or misaligned teeth causing bruxism. Traditional braces or clear aligners can help re-align or straighten the teeth by putting steady pressure on the teeth.

Manage Your Teeth Grinding to Reduce Your Tooth Pain is Grinding Tooth Causing Tooth Pain in your case? If you have a toothache, consult The Dental Specialist’s, dentists in Chicago, Illinois. At your initial consultation, your mouth is thoroughly examined and the condition is professionally diagnosed. If you are diagnosed with bruxism, you will be recommended with a variety of affordable treatments and the best comprehensive dental care.