Bruxism is a common sleep disorder that affects around 8% of the general population in the US. This disorder is characterized by rigorous teeth grinding, usually during sleep. Some people have light bruxism that doesn’t bother them or anyone around them. However, many people grind their teeth so much that it affects their oral health.
Teeth-grinding isn’t just a mildly annoying occurrence. If not stopped, it can lead to several dental issues that might affect your health. Dentists recommend using a custom dental guard to prevent excessive grinding, and if you don’t invest in a good quality guard, you might end up with different oral health issues. Here are some common bruxism dental problems you need to be on the lookout for.
Why Does Bruxism Cause Teeth Grinding?
Bruxism is unique to each person. It’s not a dental issue that starts with common symptoms. You might be surprised that bruxism doesn’t happen because of poor oral health. Instead, it’s commonly caused by anxiety, stress, and other psychological factors. It can also be triggered by sleep apnea and other such conditions.
In certain cases, your medication might also trigger bruxism as a reaction, especially if you take medication for depression. In other cases, children also grind their teeth in their sleep before their adult teeth come in. This usually happens around the time their teeth are supposed to fall off and be replaced by new ones.
Some people with extreme stress and anxiety also grind their teeth when they’re wide awake. This is known as awake bruxism and is equally bad for the teeth. No matter the cause of bruxism, if it’s left untreated, it can lead to a number of oral health issues.
Dental Problems Caused By Bruxism
The biggest issue with bruxism is that you might end up with enamel destruction. Enamel is the top layer of your teeth that protects your teeth from cavities, sensitivity, and tooth decay. But without that top layer, you can end up with several extensive dentists visit and life-long dental issues. With bruxism, the enamel usually begins eroding from the top, which makes the top layer vulnerable to cavities and chipping. With time, the tooth becomes weaker and more sensitive to damage.
Continuous teeth grinding exerts additional pressure on your teeth, which can weaken their roots. In addition to that, if you have crown restorations, fillings, or any other dental work done, bruxism can damage that as well. Once the teeth weaken, it’s not long before you end up with a chipped tooth or increased sensitivity. In the long run, the weakened teeth might start falling because of reduced gum grip and exposed roots.
Gum recession is when your gums start pulling away from your teeth, exposing the roots underneath. Constant teeth grinding can cause the gums to loosen their grip on the teeth. This leads to gum tissue breaking away from the teeth and moving down toward the jaw. The worst part of receding gums is that there’s no way to reverse it, meaning once the tooth is exposed, it’ll stay that way. However, with proper care, you can prevent your gums from receding further. Exposed roots aren’t the only problem caused by gum recession; it can also cause bleeding, loose teeth, and increased sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by the combination of worn-out tooth enamel and exposed roots. As stated before, bruxism can lead to enamel destruction. This destruction, combined with gum recession, can cause sensitivity. This sensitivity is characterized by a sharp pain in your teeth every time you eat or drink something hot, cold, and even sour. Sensitivity can occur in isolated areas or even in your entire teeth.
People with severe bruxism tend to feel sensitivity in different parts of their teeth. Just like recessed gums, this sensitivity has no cure. You can use special toothpaste and medication to keep the sensitivity under control, but as soon as you eat or drink something hot or cold, the sensitivity will come back. Not just that, but with time, this sensitivity will increase, causing you more discomfort.
Grinding your teeth for prolonged periods can weaken the teeth, which can cause chipping and even broken teeth. If the teeth are broken in this manner, it’s a lot harder to fix them. Usually, you’ll have to get them removed to prevent further damage to your oral health. A chipped tooth also creates an ideal environment for cavities and other dental problems because there’s no enamel layer at the top to protect the tooth. If your bruxism causes chipping, it means that the rest of your teeth are also in poor shape and are in danger of chipping and breaking.
Other Issues Caused By Bruxism
There are two reasons why bruxism can cause jaw pain. The first is due to the additional pressure on the jaw from the grinding. The second is due to toothache. When the teeth are damaged due to bruxism, it makes them sensitive. This sensitivity also affects the jaw and causes mild pain each time someone grinds their teeth. Both of these issues can cause TMD (temporomandibular disorder), which affects the jaw muscles and joints.TMD prevents the jaw from functioning properly and hurts the muscles, bones, and joints in your mouth.
Headaches are the first noticeable effect of teeth grinding. The grinding motion exerts pressure on the gums which in turn exert pressure on the sinuses and then to the head, leading to a headache. Headaches caused by bruxism are dull in nature, but they’re hard to get rid of since people grind their teeth throughout the day. If not handled soon, this mild headache can turn into chronic migraines, affecting a person’s day-to-day lifestyle. Moreover, headaches stress the mind, which leads to more stress and a higher level of headaches. So bruxism causes a domino effect, which triggers a series of headaches and related problems.
Teeth grinding can have a huge impact on your sleep cycle. To get a good night’s sleep, we need to reach REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep. But the teeth grinding can cause a person to slip in and out of their sleep. This prevents them from reaching REM sleep which relaxes the brain and energizes the mind. If this happens for prolonged periods, it can lead to exhaustion and poor sleep patterns.
Get The Best Custom Mouthguards From Clear Comfort Night Guards
A night guard can help you reduce the effects of bruxism and let you get a full night’s sleep. Dental guards are designed to offer cushioning against teeth grinding and prevent enamel damage, jaw pain, and even headaches.
However, getting over-the-counter guards isn’t useful because they don’t fit you properly. This is where Clear Comfort Night Guards come in. We offer custom mouthguards to help fight the effect of bruxism. Our night guards come in different variations, including soft, ultra-thin, hard, and ultra-hard dental guards.
Not just that, but we also sell sports mouthguards for people who indulge in sports. Our night guards are made from durable materials, and we offer fast shipping, easy returns, and a money-back guarantee. So what are you waiting for? Browse our collection and get your custom dental guard today.