Is it an auto-immune disease?
What do these terms have in common? Tooth Grinding is the aggressive
wear of the enamel and dentin from one jaw to the opposing jaw’s tooth structures. Auto-Immune Diseases are essentially dysfunctions where your body attacks itself as if it were a foreign invader. These are always of a soft tissue (bone is also considered soft tissue) nature. Teeth on the other hand are hard tissue. In fact the enamel of the teeth is the hardest structure of the human body.
Teeth are “attacked or assaulted” for many reasons, most of which are unknown. Airway embarrassment is a common one. Here the air passage is narrower than it should be resulting in a bottleneck that restricts the passage of air. The body sense this situation and causes the clenching or grinding to occur in an effort to open the air passage through a compensation of the system.
Emotional release is also tied in with tooth grinding as is, parasite (worms), and uncomfortable bite. Still others include sore teeth from gum disease and the clenching acts as a pressure anesthesia or even the notion that one must “set” their teeth and thus regularly clench their teeth together.
Tooth grinding is an extremely harmful activity to the system. The system is that of the muscles, bones and teeth along with nerves, connective tissues and contiguous structures. The action keeps the nervous system in a state of preparedness-ready for action, Flight or Fight. This is good is you have to run away from a tiger or a mugger but when you sleep this is very disruptive to the nervous system that must calm down to allow nurturing repair to occur when you sleep.
Furthermore, your sleep cycle is altered by grinding and you are much
more apt to be tired on waking.
The grinding also overloads the “neuromuscular” system and can cause
you to have a plethora of symptoms, headache being a common one.
In closing, with the aggressive wear of the dentition you might need to have a dental rehabilitation to rebalance the jaws and then rebuild most if not all of your teeth. This is a very time consuming process as well has an expensive one, so do yourself a big favor and get a bite guard if your doctor recommends one for you.