The Important Facts About Grinding Teeth

Grinding your teeth might not seem like a big deal. After all, most people clench their teeth together when they’re stressed, angry, tense, or in pain. When it occurs habitually, however, the results can devastate your oral health, and may include cracked and fractured teeth, exhausted jaw joints and muscles, and possibly even tooth loss. If Dr. Wright or Dr. Heron suspects that bruxism is a factor in your dental health, they may suggest addressing the issue as soon as possible for the good of your smile.

Defining Bruxism

Teeth-grinding, clinically known as bruxism, can be a nervous habit, or it can result from an existing dental issue, such as crooked teeth or an imbalanced bite. Though it can often occur during the day, bruxism patients typically grind their teeth in their sleep, and may be unaware that there’s a problem until their teeth begin to suffer the consequences.

What You Should Know

Though healthy adult teeth can adequately withstand the pressures of biting and chewing your food, they aren’t built to endure the constant pressure and friction of grinding against each other. Left untreated, bruxism can wear down and damage your teeth, and common effects of the condition can include;

  • Tooth Wear/Damage—Over time, rubbing your teeth together can wear down your teeth, particularly their chewing surfaces, making your teeth weaker and more susceptible to structural damage. Grinding can crack, fracture, or break your teeth, and treatment often involves repairing teeth damaged by the habit.
  • Occlusal (Bite) Problems—By wearing down and changing the landscape of your teeth’s chewing surfaces, bruxism can also throw your bite off-balance, making some teeth meet before the others when you close your jaw. The disturbance can exacerbate your tooth damage, as well as place your jaw’s joints and muscles under extreme stress and pressure (leading to TMJ disorder).

ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE DENTISTS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.