Teeth grinding is a common oral condition classified as Bruxism. It doesn’t often cause serious harm however, chronic cases of teeth grinding can have some serious repercussions. Not only can it end up damaging the teeth, but it can also cause a number of other health complaints.
One of the more worrying problems is tinnitus, which causes a ringing in the ears and is linked to hearing loss. If you suspect this, it is advisable to see an audiologist and get your hearing checked. Hidden Hearing offers free hearing tests at its 65 branches nationwide.
Sometimes teeth grinding motions are known to be accompanied by a temporary hearing loss. A recent study conducted by the University of Ioannina in Greece has found a link between bruxism, and hearing loss. The study involved 464 healthy Greek university students (156 men and 308 women) and found that there is a high correlation between grinding your teeth and suffering from tinnitus. The condition can be induced by the constant grinding noises that persist through the nights in several cases. The intensity of constant noise can have a resultant effect of dysfunction in the hearing abilities. On the other hand, the severity of the teeth grinding can also lead to extreme stress in the muscular as well as the bone mass in the region. When the teeth grinding motions – involving forceful forward and backward movement of clenched teeth – is intense, the condition can cause inflammation in the areas around the ear and result in symptoms resembling hearing loss, ear aches, or abnormal sounds in the ear.
Luckily, there are all sorts of ways in which you can stop grinding your teeth. One of the easiest ones is to simply visit your dentist and ask for a mouth guard – this will fit over your teeth (usually the bottom set) and you’ll wear it while you sleep.
Because stress and anxiety are common factors in causing you to grind your teeth, reducing them can stop you doing it. Try starting a regular exercise programme or enquiring about muscle relaxants.
Other things you can do are to cut back on caffeinated products like cola and coffee, and cutting out alcohol. Unnecessary chewing should be avoided (biting pencils or chewing gum), and you can also try relaxing your jaw muscles with a warm cloth before bed.
In most cases, hearing loss caused by teeth grinding is of a temporary nature. However, if you are worried about your hearing make an appointment with an audiologist at your local Hidden Hearing branch.
If you’re worried about hearing contact your local Hidden Hearing branch. Hidden Hearing offers free hearing tests at its 60 branches nationwide. To book a test Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.