How Teeth Grinding Can Impact Your Smile
Teeth grinding, which is also known as bruxism, can happen because of various reasons. It can happen due to crooked teeth, an abnormal bite, stress, and missing teeth. As teeth grinding occurs at night, you may not know you are doing it. When not addressed by a dental professional, bruxism can result in serious damage and pain. Identifying the issue early is important to protect your teeth.
As teeth grinding and jaw clenching usually happen during sleep, the damage they caused may not be known. Regular teeth grinding can lead to loose, chipped, or fractured teeth, tight jaw muscles, tooth pain and sensitivity, worn-down enamel, and disturbed sleep patterns.
Is Bruxism Dangerous?
When bruxism is left untreated, it can damage your teeth. Constantly grinding your teeth will wear them down and can result in tooth loss or fractures. Also, this habit can affect other parts of your mouth.
Grinding impacts your jaw and can cause issues in your temporomandibular joint or TMJ. A disorder of this joint can result in painful chewing, jaw stiffness, and popping noises. Because of the constant grinding, stress on your jaw, teeth wearing, and tooth loss, your facial structure can also change. Teeth grinding is aesthetically and medically harmful, so it has to be addressed by your dentist as soon as possible.
Is There a Cure for Teeth Grinding?
Bruxism happens because you may be suffering from another condition. After the underlying cause of your bruxism, your dentist can recommend how to best treat it.
When you clench your teeth while you are awake, it may be emotional and must be dealt with by going through counseling, relaxation, or coping strategies. But if you grind your teeth during sleep, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Every patient is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution for teeth grinding.
Treatments can include changing your sleeping habits, stress management, and learning relaxation strategies. For medical problems, you may have to get braces to correct your dental issue such as an improper bite.
Your dentist can give you a mouthguard that you can wear while you sleep to protect your teeth from damage. But the mouthguard cannot stop the grinding. It is important to relax before bed and keep an eye on things that may be the source of your stress. Teeth grinding can harm your smile. Although you can look for ways to reduce your stress, it is important to see a dentist for evaluation.