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喧嘩カップル
喧嘩カップル

そのままにしておくと大変!歯ぎしりを起こしている4つの原因

喧嘩カップル

寝ている間の行動って全く覚えていませんよね。朝起きて、なぜかアゴが痛い…歯がかけてる…そのように不思議に思ったことはありませんか?

もしかしたら「歯ぎしり」をしているかもしれません。家族と一緒に住んでいる方は、朝起きて「歯ぎしりしてたよ」なんて言われたら驚きますよね。歯ぎしりは、長く続くと一緒に寝ている方の睡眠を妨げるかもしれません。

寝ている間のことだし、そのままにしておいても大丈夫か…と思っている方は要注意です。歯ぎしりは、一種の病気といわれています。そのままにしておくと、歯にさまざまな問題を引き起こしてしまいます。なぜ歯ぎしりをするのか?本記事では、歯ぎしりの4つの原因とその対処法などをご紹介します。

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歯ぎしりとは?

歯磨き女性

歯ぎしりとは、口を閉じ、上下の歯をくいしばって噛み締めたり、くいしばったり、すり合わせる行為です。歯ぎしりは、主に次の3つのタイプがあります。

グラインディング

歯を左右にギリギリと噛み締める歯ぎしりです。歯の摩擦を起こしやすく、長い間続くと歯の噛みあわせの部分が磨り減ったり、歯の付け根の部分が削れたりしてしまう可能性があります。

クレンチング

上下の歯をグッと噛み締めるタイプの歯ぎしりです。アゴに大きな力が入っており、音が鳴らないため人に気づかれることが難しく、クレンチングをしている本人も気づかないことがほとんどです。起床した時、アゴに違和感がある場合はこのタイプの歯ぎしりかもしれません。クレンチングは、歯が痛くなったり、欠けたり割れてしまうこともあります。

タッピング

上下の歯をカチカチと合わせるタイプの歯ぎしりです。物を食べているかのような歯ぎしりで、比較的に歯ぎしりの中でも少ないといわれています。

それでは、歯ぎしりをするとどのような問題が起こるのでしょうか。次にその問題点についてご説明します。

歯ぎしりをするとこんな問題が発生する

歯ぎしりを長期的にしていると、もちろん歯にダメージが積み重なります。

そのため、歯が磨り減り、噛みあわせが悪くなります。また、歯が磨り減ることで神経がむき出しになってしまい「知覚過敏」になる人もいます。また、「顎関節症」というアゴが痛くなる病気になる場合もあるなど、さまざまな深刻な問題が発生します。

では、歯ぎしりを引き起こす原因とは何でしょうか?次の項で詳しくみていきましょう。

主に歯ぎしりの原因と考えられているもの

人により、歯ぎしりを起こす理由はさまざまです。一般的に、次の4つが原因になっているといわれています。

  • ストレス
  • 歯の噛みあわせ
  • 飲酒や喫煙
  • 逆流性食道炎

それでは、次に上記の内容について詳しくご説明していきます。

ストレス

毎日の仕事や学校、人間関係などでストレスをかかえている方はたくさんいらっしゃると思います。

また、多忙な毎日で休む暇もなくたまってしまうストレス。実はそのストレスも歯ぎしりの原因と考えられています。精神的、肉体的にストレスがたまると、それを解消するために歯ぎしりをすることがあるといわれています。

歯の噛みあわせ

歯の噛み合わせが歯ぎしりの原因とも考えられています。

元々の歯並びの問題や、虫歯を治療した後、詰め物が大きすぎて噛み合わせが悪くなったりすることも歯ぎしりの原因といわれています。

飲酒や喫煙

お酒やタバコなども歯ぎしりの危険因子と考えらています。必ずしも絶対的な要因ではありませんが、もし大量に摂取している方は、控えた方がよいでしょう。

逆流性食道炎

歯ぎしりと大きな関係があると最近注目されているのが逆流性食道炎
です。

逆流性食道炎とは、人が横になることにより胃液が食道に逆流し、胸やけを起こす病気です。食道に逆流した胃液を戻そうと歯ぎしりをしている可能性があると考えられています。

しかし、歯ぎしりをするのは、寝ている最中のことですし、まさか寝ないで歯ぎしりを予防するわけにはいきませんよね。では、どうやって歯ぎしりを予防したらいいのでしょう?実は歯ぎしりのメカニズムはまだ不明な点が多く、解明されていないのが現状です。
そのため、まずは対症療法をご自身で組み合わせて行い予防することを心がけましょう。
歯ぎしりの予防策は次の通りです。

歯ぎしりの予防方法

次の3点を心がけることにより、歯ぎしりが軽減されるといわれています。

布団に入る前はリラックスする

前述でも述べた通り、ストレスは歯ぎしりを引き起こす原因となります。

そのため、布団に入る1時間前はリラックスするようにしましょう。また、「きっと明日は良いことがありますように」と自己暗示をかけることも効果的とされています。日常生活においてもなるべくストレスをためないように心がけましょう。

マウスピースを用意する

歯ぎしりによる歯やアゴへの負担を減らすために、マウスピースを使用するとよいでしょう。

市販のマウスピースも販売されていますが、歯の噛みあわせは人それぞれです。噛みあわせが合わなく、長期使用すると逆に歯やアゴに負担をかけ、ストレスになってしまいます。そのために歯ぎしりが増える可能性があるので、使用する際は注意してください。また、歯科にて専用の口腔内装具を作ってもらうという方法もあります。

しかしマウスピースは、歯ぎしりによる歯やアゴへの負担を減らすためのものであり、歯ぎしり自体をなくす解決方法ではありません。そのような面も考慮してマウスピースを使用してくださいね。

医療機関に相談をする

前述で述べた「逆流性食道炎」が原因である場合は、消化器科などで治療を受けるという方法もあります。

また最近は、歯科などにて「歯ぎしり矯正」という治療法もあるようです。専門的な医療機関に相談すると、歯ぎしりの軽減につながる可能性があるといえるでしょう。

歯ぎしりマウスガード
歯ぎしりマウスガード

posted with amazlet at 13.10.23
東京企画販売 (2004-04-19)
売り上げランキング: 181

まとめ:まずはご自身の身体と生活環境の見直しから!

寝ている間に知らず知らずに行ってしまっている歯ぎしり。その概要はまだ解明されていない部分も多くあります。本記事にてご紹介した歯ぎしりの4つの原因をもう一度おさらいしましょう。

  • ストレス
  • 歯の噛みあわせ
  • 飲酒や喫煙
  • 逆流性食道炎

上記に当てはまる方は、まずはご自身の身体や生活環境を見直すことが大切です。効果的と考えられている予防方法をぜひ試してみてくださいね。あなたの歯ぎしりが少しでも軽減されるよう、本記事がお役に立てれば幸いです。

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