Teeth grinding, also known as bruxing, takes a toll on your pearly whites and jaw. It can damage your tooth enamel, loosen your teeth, cause tooth sensitivity, and even wear out your jaw muscles. You may notice discomfort each morning or pain when chewing if you’re grinding your teeth at night. You might not even notice at all!
Individuals who suffer from bruxism may also experience headaches, earaches, joint discomfort in and around the jaw, cracked teeth, flattened teeth, a stiff or locked jaw, and even poor or disrupted sleeping patterns. Many teeth grinding patients complain of waking up in the middle of the night because of jaw discomfort. Chronic bruxism or teeth grinding is also a leading cause for temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ.
Grinding may lead to tooth decay because of damaged enamel or pain caused by teeth loosening and tired jaw muscles. Bruxing may exacerbate periodontal disease and cause jaw issues down the road. The long-term success of dental procedures or dental implants can be decreased from teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding may not seem like a big deal, but it can cause some serious damage and leave you with hefty dental bills. Friendly Dentistry is here to talk about why you might be grinding, and ways to prevent grinding in the future.
Teeth Grinding Causes
The most common and well-known reason for tooth grinding is stress. If you’re dealing with heightened stress from your job or personal relationships, it can come out (usually at night) in the form of grinding. Some people may experience pain or discomfort caused by teeth grinding, others may not even notice right away.
There are some other reasons you could be grinding your teeth, although they are less common.
- Sleep apnea
- Tooth misalignment
- Use of stimulants such as caffeine, tobacco, or amphetamines
- Alcohol consumption
Be sure to speak with your dental health professional about your teeth grinding to avoid permanent damage. You may need to seek help in order to alleviate the stressors in your life to address the root of the issue.