Occasionally grinding or clenching your teeth might not always cause harm; however, if it becomes a regular occurrence, your teeth can become damaged and further dental complications may arise. Teeth grinding, clinically named bruxism, can occur due to stress, anxiety, a misaligned bite, or crooked or missing teeth. Because this usually happens during sleep, most people are unaware of the occurrence until they begin to experience symptoms.
What Are Symptoms Of Teeth Grinding?
The symptoms of teeth grinding depend on how often it occurs. People who grind and clench their teeth may experience a slight but constant headache, or jaw stiffness. You can damage your jaw joints and increase your risk of developing TMJ disorder. Excessive grinding can wear down the enamel of your teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay and cavities. It can also increase tooth sensitivity, tire out the jaw muscles, and cause indentations in your tongue.
Why Is Teeth Grinding Bad?
When continuous stress is placed on your teeth, they can become worn, damaged, and possibly lost. If it persists, teeth grinding can lead to further issues, such as fractured or loose teeth. If grinding becomes severe enough, it can result in tooth loss, jaw issues, tinnitus, or TMJ disorder (a dysfunction with your jaw’s joints and muscles).
What Are My Treatment Options
Treatment for grinding and clenching will vary, depending on the cause. Minor cases can be treated at home by:
- Avoiding foods or drinks that contain caffeine
- Avoiding alcoholic drinks
- Refraining from chewing on things that aren’t food
- Training yourself not to clench or grind your teeth, if it occurs during the day
- Holding a warm washcloth against your cheek to help relax your facial muscles
If bruxism has severely damaged your teeth, Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron can perform an examination and discuss appropriate treatment options.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS 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