Teeth grinding, commonly known as bruxism, is involuntary clenching or gnashing. Although it can also happen when you’re awake, it frequently happens while sleeping. It can cause tooth damage, jaw pain, headaches, and other complications. Moreover, mouth guards, stress management, and dental procedures are all possible treatments.
Some of the main symptoms of teeth grinding are:
- Teeth sensitivity or pain
- Worn-down or flattened teeth
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Facial pain
- Disrupted sleep
- Tense or tight jaw muscles
If you see any of these signs, it’s crucial to have a dental examination and treatment.
Furthermore, we cannot entirely know what exactly causes bruxism or teeth grinding. However, it is believed that a combination of factors, including tension, anxiety, misaligned teeth, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, certain medications, and unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption, contribute to the condition.
6 Dangers of Teeth Grinding
Furthermore, teeth grinding can have several adverse effects on oral health and overall well-being.
Here are six potential risks related to teeth grinding:
Regular clenching and grinding can seriously harm your teeth over time. Teeth might become loose, worn down, chipped, or cracked due to the excessive forces applied during bruxism. This might result in sensitivity, pain, and trouble chewing.
Grinding your teeth stresses the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), which connect your jawbone to the skull. This can result in temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which causes jaw pain, stiffness, limited jaw movement, and clicking or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth.
Headaches and Facial Pain
The intense muscle contractions associated with bruxism can cause chronic headaches and facial pain. Tension headaches and facial muscle pain commonly result from prolonged stress on the head, neck, and face muscles.
Teeth grinding happens when you’re asleep, interrupting your sleep and your partner’s. The grinding sounds may cause interrupted or poor-quality sleep, making you sleepy and exhausted during the day.
Furthermore, gum recession can result from the additional strain that grinding places on the teeth. When the gum tissue recedes from the teeth, the sensitive tooth roots are exposed and are more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. This condition is known as gum recession.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)
Bruxism can contribute to the development or progression of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Constant pressure and stress on the TMJs can result in inflammation, muscle spasms, and misalignment of the jaw joint, resulting in pain, clicking or popping sounds, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, and a locked jaw.
However, it is important to note that teeth grinding can have broader effects than just dental and facial problems. For example, bruxism can cause chronic pain, sleep disruptions, and general discomfort, leading to increased tension, anxiety, and a lower quality of life.
If you believe you have bruxism or are experiencing any risks, seek expert dental or medical assistance immediately. A healthcare professional can diagnose the condition, identify its underlying causes, and recommend the most appropriate treatments.
Mouth guards or splints to protect teeth, stress-relieving methods, relaxation exercises, and behavior modification techniques are possible treatments for teeth grinding or bruxism. Dental procedures such as dental correction or orthodontic treatment may be necessary in severe cases. In addition, treating underlying causes like stress or sleep issues might help symptoms get better.
However, it is advised to consult with a dental professional or other healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment. Call us at ORIS Dental Clinics if you need any assistance and live in Richmond Hill, Ontario, immediately!