Teeth grinding or bruxism affects people in a number of ways. People with bruxism are usually subjected to short-term side effects. However, they usually encounter more serious, permanent long-term issues.
If the short-term effects aren’t treated immediately, they’ll cause more painful effects. So, seek dental help as soon as symptoms occur — this won’t just help you treat bruxism but also help avoid destruction and tooth loss.
Bruxism can damage both your gums and teeth, especially over a long time. As a leading provider of mouthguards for teeth grinding, we discuss the consequences of teeth grinding and whether it leads to permanent tooth damage:
Consequences of teeth grinding
Grinding your teeth places stress on your gums as well as the connective tissue that holds your teeth in place. Since the connective tissue anchors teeth, it can loosen your teeth if damaged. Grinding your teeth may cause your gum tissue to look irritated/red due to inflammation.
Grinding your teeth wears down your teeth prematurely, subsequently wearing down the protective layer of enamel. Once the enamel starts to deteriorate, you can’t replace it. This exposes the softer tissue, allowing harmful bacteria into your tooth, which leads to cavities.
Without the protective layer of enamel, hot/cold temperatures may get to the root of your tooth, making certain foods and drinks painful to eat.
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) that attaches your lower jaw to your skull helps your jaw move. Bruxism places stress on the TMJ, leading to chronic pain as a result of dysfunction.
Symptoms of a TMJ issue include an inability to open your mouth all the way, pain when speaking/chewing, muscle tension in your face, and headaches.
A quick dental checkup will help a dentist identify whether or not you grind your teeth. Patients with bruxism have flattened teeth with a square, even appearance. The teeth become shorter and are worn down. If the bruxism goes untreated for a long time, it’ll become more noticeable.
Besides this, grinding your teeth may damage dental restorations, including fillings/crowns, which may cause them to fail and require replacement.
How do I know if I grind my teeth?
Since grinding usually occurs during sleep, most people aren’t aware if they grind their teeth. However, a sore jaw or a constant, tedious headache when you wake up is a surefire symptom of bruxism. Sometimes, your loved one will tell you that you grind your teeth because they can hear it.
Go to your dentist if you think you’re grinding your teeth. They’ll assess your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as extreme wear on your teeth and jaw tenderness.
How to stop grinding my teeth?
Your dentist will fit you with a custom mouthguard to safeguard your teeth from grinding during sleep.
If you’re grinding your teeth due to stress, ask your dentist or doctor about options to reduce your stress. Obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants, seeing a physical therapist, starting an exercise program, and attending stress counseling are some options.
If the grinding is due to a sleeping disorder, treating it may eliminate or reduce the grinding habit. Here are some other tips to help you stop grinding your teeth:
- Hold a warm cloth against your check in front of your earlobe to relax your jaw muscles at night
- Train yourself not to grind or clench your teeth. If you notice that you grind or clench during the day, place the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This will train your jaw muscles to relax.
- Don’t chew on pens, pencils, or anything that isn’t food. Don’t chew gum as it makes your jaw muscles more used to clenching, making you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol consumption intensifies grinding.
- Cut back or avoid foods and drinks that include caffeine, like coffee, chocolate, and colas.
Waking up with an aching jaw and/or headaches may mean you’re grinding your teeth at night when you’re asleep. A simple dental exam may reveal whether or not you’re aging your teeth prematurely through bruxism. Since a mouthguard can help protect you from this damaging dental condition, buy one now — it’ll make a huge difference to the health of your mouth.
You can use Clear Comfort Night Guards’ dentist-recommended mouthguard for teeth grinding. We understand that grinding is a common issue many people aren’t even aware of. While grinding your teeth can cause sleep issues and lead to oral damage, it can easily be taken care of by purchasing an online custom mouth guard for teeth grinding from Clear Comfort Night Guards. Visit our website now for more information on our night guard for jaw pain!