Why is Bruxism Bad?
Even if you’re not sure what bruxism is, it definitely isn’t a fun-sounding word. And if you know that bruxism is the condition of nighttime teeth grinding, it sounds even less exciting.
But the fact is, whether we like it or not, that this is a common ailment affecting plenty of people every year. So what makes bruxism damage such a big concern? Here are four of the biggest problems caused (or exacerbated) by regular teeth grinding.
Damage to teeth
One of the first things you might notice when you’ve started bruxing is flattened teeth, cracks or chips, or damage to your enamel. But the damage from bruxism can go even further than that, leading to broken or lost teeth.
These issues can cost a lot in terms of both money and pain, making even eating or drinking feel like a chore.
Jaw and muscle pain
Bruxism damage isn’t just limited to inside your mouth, however. Those who brux can often feel its effects all over.
All that clenching and grinding through the night also commonly leads to tension and pain in your jaw, neck, face, and shoulders. You may experience headaches — especially first thing in the morning — or even begin to have temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ or TMD) issues.
Increased tension and anxiety
One of the most common triggers of bruxism is stress. But often, those who find themselves bruxing can get into a vicious cycle in which their teeth grinding adds to their anxiety, and their anxiety leads to more bruxing.
It can feel increasingly difficult to get the relaxation and peace you need when you’re dealing with the damaged teeth, headaches, and poor sleep that frequently accompany bruxism.
Loss of (good) sleep
Even if you don’t wake up consciously during the night, those who brux are almost certain to have less restful sleep and are likely to be more prone to tossing and turning and even to snoring.
And that’s not just for you: the noise and distraction of teeth grinding can keep your partner awake and restless throughout the night too.
What you can do
But the damage of bruxism isn’t a guaranteed outcome. If you think you might be bruxing, prioritizing sleep hygiene, avoiding alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, and wearing a dental guard can all help prevent your teeth from grinding at night and protect your oral and muscle health.
Ready to find a dental guard that works for you? Look for SleepRight’s comfortable and durable dental guards at your local CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart!