Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is a motion in which a person forcefully slides the top and bottom teeth against each other.
In most cases, this action occurs during sleep – in fact, some people who grind their teeth are unaware they do it until either someone tells them or they begin to experience symptoms such as pain or soreness in the neck or jaw, headaches, or tooth sensitivity.
How Does Teeth Grinding Damage Teeth?
Teeth grinding or clenching is a very destructive habit that impacts one’s health in multiple ways.
Teeth grinding makes patients more susceptible to cavities. The motion wears away at enamel and can cause tiny breaks in the teeth that expose the dentin in the teeth.
Teeth grinding can wear teeth down to the point that they are noticeably flattened. Some patients will even need to have crowns placed over their teeth to strengthen the damaged teeth.
Teeth grinding can cause tooth fractures or loose teeth because it puts so much force on the teeth.
Some patients who grind their teeth will suffer from painful TMJ disorders because the motion of teeth grinding irritates the temporo-mandibular joint.
Teeth Grinding Solutions
For the sake of your oral health, it is crucial to find a way to stop grinding your teeth.
Patients who find they are grinding their teeth at night can be fitted for a night guard, which prevents the teeth from rubbing against each other at night.
Some patients will do well to reduce their stress and anxiety, as these factors can lead to or worsen teeth grinding. Others may find that reducing their consumption of caffeine Women and oral healthand alcohol reduces the frequency of their teeth grinding.
For some people, simply becoming aware of the fact that they are clenching or grinding their teeth can help them stop the habit.
Your dentist can help you stop grinding your teeth and provide solutions for damage that may have been caused by it. If you find you are grinding or clenching your teeth, schedule a dental appointment and take steps to protect your oral health.