The Dark Side of Grinding
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can be your worst nightmare. It can cause some scary short- and long-term effects, including headaches, jaw pain, problems chewing, a misshapen face and loose teeth. According to research, when you grind your teeth while sleeping, it puts 10 times more pressure on them than while you’re eating. And that has severe consequences — not only for your teeth but also for your overall health.
Here are some bad things bruxism can do to your teeth:
- Grinding on a regular basis over time can cause teeth to shift. That means if you’re wearing braces — or wore braces in the past — you need to address your bruxism problem before it destroys the result of the orthodontic treatment that you spent several years and lots of money to achieve.
- Bruxism can result in your teeth breaking or becoming loose to the point of falling out. Eventually, if you grind your teeth for a long period of time, they can be reduced to stumps and you may need to spend thousands on cosmetic dentistry work to fix them and protect your smile.
- Regular teeth grinding also can result in losing your enamel, the protective outer covering on your teeth. Enamel protects against tooth decay and without it, the structure and function of your teeth would be comprised.
- The masseter muscles, which are used to grind teeth, help shape your jaw. Overuse of these muscles can change the shape of your face. Teeth grinding also adversely affects your jaw, and without treatment you may experience problems smiling, chewing, or biting.
If you know that you grind your teeth at night, you are likely suffering some symptoms now. Please take steps to stop the grind and protect your smile before you experience every worse symptoms. If you’re not sure, your dentist will be able to see signs that you are grinding your teeth, so schedule an exam today. Another, more immediate, course of action is investing in a nighttime dental guard. Wearing a dental guard at night can physically prevent you from grinding your teeth at night and help protect your smile. To learn about dental guard options available, visit www.sleepright.com.