Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common problem that can affect your smile. Awake bruxism (AB) affects between 22-30% of adults and 8-16% of adults experience sleep bruxism (SB). As much as 40% of children have SB.
Teeth grinding occurs when you clench or grind your teeth together. People with bruxism can use up to 250 pounds of force when clenching or grinding their teeth, causing jaw pain and tooth problems.
Bruxism is often a response to emotional or physical stress. It may be caused by anxiety, angry feelings, frustration, or tension. It could also be due to an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. Other potential causes include allergies, genetics, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and the use of stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, or drugs.
Several oral health issues are commonly related to teeth grinding habits.
Not many people are aware that teeth grinding can be a reason for tooth decay. When you grind your teeth, you create tiny cracks in the enamel that covers your teeth. These cracks provide a way for bacteria to enter the tooth and cause decay.
Chipped and Cracked Teeth
When you grind your teeth, the force can put undue stress on the enamel and cause it to fracture. While occasional teeth grinding does not usually cause significant damage, chronic bruxism can lead to worn down teeth, chipped teeth, and cracked teeth.
In some cases, the tooth may even break entirely. In severe cases, bruxism can even cause jaw pain and headaches.
When you grind your teeth, you’re not just putting pressure on them but also shifting them around in your mouth. Over time, this grinding can cause your teeth to become misaligned. In addition to affecting your appearance, misaligned teeth can also lead to problems with chewing and speaking.
When the gums are constantly exposed to the friction of tooth grinding, they become inflamed and can eventually bleed. In severe cases, gum inflammation can lead to periodontal disease, a serious infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can be caused by teeth grinding, leading to tooth loss over time. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull, and TMD occurs when this joint is not functioning properly.
Teeth grinding can damage this joint, as well as the teeth themselves. Over time, the damage from teeth grinding can become severe enough to cause tooth loss.
Protect Your Smile at Valley Dental Care
Grinding your teeth can make your teeth look shorter. Constant grinding can also make your smile appear older and less healthy.
We understand that a healthy smile not only makes a great first impression but also plays an important role in your oral health. That’s why the team at Valley Dental Care is committed to helping you protect your smile with a custom-designed nightguard and restorative or cosmetic treatments.
So don’t wait; call us today to book an appointment.