Teeth grinding, medically termed bruxism, can be considered a tragedy because the habit can wreak havoc on your smile but few people are aware they are even doing it. In fact, most people grind their teeth while they sleep or as a subconscious response to stress. The truth is, bruxism can have a devastating impact on your oral health. A consistent habit of teeth grinding simply puts too much pressure on your teeth as well as the surrounding muscles and tissues around the jaw. In other words, your jaw and teeth just weren’t designed to be used that much on a daily basis. Whether you are a grinder or a clencher, your oral habit can reap the following serious consequences:
- Worn Down Teeth
- Over time the surfaces of your teeth (typically the back ones) will become worn down and damaged due to the constant back and forth motion and heavy pressure. This can lead to weak teeth that are more vulnerable to chipping, cracking and getting cavities.
- Jaw Pain and Headaches
- One of the most obvious warning signs that you are grinding your teeth during your sleep is waking up with a sore jaw, stiff jaw or tension headaches. This can eventually lead to TMJ disorder, which can disrupt your comfort during the day.
- Damage to Dental Work
- If you’ve had any dental work, including restorative crowns, bridges or fillings as well as cosmetic work like porcelain veneers, you could ruin your investment with your nightly (or daily) teeth grinding habit. Just like your teeth, these types of dental materials simply aren’t made to hold up against the additional forces of bruxism.
Avoiding the Consequences of Teeth Grinding
The good news is that there is a non-invasive and quite simple solution to protect your oral health from teeth grinding, especially if you do it at night. First, you’ll need to be aware of the possibility that you grind your teeth. Ask your bed partner if he or she has heard your grinding your teeth – chances are they have! Also take note of sore or sensitive teeth or consistent jaw pain. The next step is to talk to your dentist. At Mitzi Morris, DMD, we can offer a customized nightguard to ensure your smile is shielded from unintentional habit. If you grind your teeth during the day as a response to stress, we urge you to find ways to relax and cope with your stress without using your teeth. It may be as simple as exercising more, letting go of some obligations or seeing a therapist. As you eliminate stress from your life, you are likely to see a great reduction in the amount of time you spend grinding or clenching your teeth.
Call Mitzi Morris, DMD to learn more about bruxism treatment in Roswell!