Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition in which an individual will unconsciously clench and grind their teeth together. Teeth grinding can be caused by stress, anxiety, frustration, anger, and more. Typically, people do not realize that they are grinding their teeth because it happens subconsciously during the day or while they are asleep. Teeth grinding is a bad “habit” and can lead to many adverse health effects. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the side effects of teeth grinding!
Damage To Your Teeth
One of the most harmful side effects of grinding your teeth is the damage it can do to those teeth. Constant grinding wears down the tops of the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay, cavities, and infections. Teeth grinding can be so harmful because the jaw muscles are some of the strongest in the human body. In extreme cases, teeth grinding can even lead to cracked or broken teeth.
Another harmful side effect of teeth grinding is the pain it can cause in your jaw. WHen you grind your teeth subconsciously or when you’re asleep, you’re putting an intense strain on the joints that connect your jawbone to your skull. Constant strain on these joints can cause jaw soreness or stiffness, pain in your face or ears, and even difficulty chewing & eating. In some cases, the prolonged pressure on these joints can lead to jaw problems that require surgery.
One more harmful effect of teeth grinding is the damage it can do to your gums. Constant grinding can irritate your gums and cause them to recede, which can be painful in itself. Gum recession can also lead to bacteria accumulation, which causes infection and, in serious cases, tooth loss.
If you believe that you are subconsciously grinding your teeth during the day or nighttime, you should speak with your dentist as soon as possible. Some treatments for teeth grinding include relieving stress, practicing good sleep habits, and wearing a mouthguard to bed.
Contact Gentle Dental Maine!
If you have any questions about teeth grinding or other oral health problems, contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!