Do you grind your teeth? You may not even realize it if you do, but constant tooth grinding (also known as “bruxism”) can cause a variety of problems, not only for your teeth but for your overall health and quality of life. What can you do if you grind your teeth?
What causes tooth grinding?
Everyone grinds their teeth occasionally, but it becomes a problem if you do it all the time. You might find yourself grinding your teeth during a stressful day at work, or your partner might tell you that they can hear you grinding your teeth as you sleep (yes, it can be that loud).
It may be your body’s reaction to stress or anxiety, or it could be related to a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. It could also be caused by a dental issue, such as missing or crooked teeth or a misaligned bite.
If you constantly grind your teeth, you might start having headaches all the time, ear pain, and an achy, painful jaw and neck muscles. Over time, tooth grinding can damage teeth, because of the enormous amount of stress grinding places on them. Your tooth enamel can wear off, you might get chips or cracks in your teeth (which can lead to infection), and your teeth may even start to become loose.
If you have been having headaches and pain in your jaw, you should let your dentist know. He or she will check for any damage to teeth and then can recommend ways to help stop your bruxism. Possible treatments include BOTOX® to help relax your muscles or a night guard to keep your bottom and top teeth from touching each other while you sleep. If you grind your teeth as a reaction to stress, developing stress-coping strategies and talking out your problems with a therapist or friend might also be a good idea.
If you think you might grind your teeth, see your dentist right away. Bruxism can damage teeth, and it can also be quite painful, but your dentist can help. Call Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center in East Norriton, PA, at (610) 272-6949 for an appointment today!