Everything You Need to Know About Teeth Grinding

Tooth enamel cannot regenerate after it is lost, which is why dentists caution patients to protect their teeth from decay and damage. Aside from the effects that cavities can have on the health of tooth enamel, enamel can also deteriorate due to teeth grinding. Like tooth decay, teeth grinding can often go unnoticed for many months or years. When grinding is left unchecked, it can result in worn enamel, tooth fractures, and a higher risk of decay. The following questions and answers discuss this common habit and what can be done about it:

older woman deeply sleeps in the bed
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Teeth grinding typically occurs when a person sleeps. Dental professionals believe grinding happens as a stress outlet. Some people may have a lifelong struggle with teeth grinding, and others may develop it suddenly due to new sources of anxiety in the workplace or at home.

How Do I Know If I am Grinding My Teeth?
Teeth grinding may be quite loud in some cases, and as a result, the sufferer’s significant other may be the first to notice signs. Otherwise, teeth grinding may produce some identifiable symptoms, such as morning headaches, jaw pain, and tooth sensitivity. Anyone who begins noticing these complications should speak with his or her dentist for further evaluation.

What Can a Dentist Do to Prevent Teeth Grinding Damage?
If teeth grinding is the result of stress, a dentist may try to help a patient pinpoint the source of that anxiety. Only by isolating the reason for the stress can a person begin to alleviate it. However, to protect the teeth from additional damage, a dentist may recommend the use of a night guard. A night guard is a custom-made mouth guard that can create a barrier between the upper and lower teeth. When worn each night, this guard can safeguard enamel from further wear and tear.

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