Teeth grinding (bruxism) is an uncontrollable clenching or gnashing of the teeth. It can happen during the day, but it affects most people at night. This is a very common condition, and can lead to serious long-term dental issues if it’s left untreated.
In this blog from Cibolo Family Smiles, we’ll discuss a few common dental issues and how teeth grinding contributes to them. Learn more below, and get in touch with Dr. Patel right away if you think you grind your teeth in Cibolo.
Teeth grinding often causes pain and discomfort in your teeth and jaw. This is particularly common in the rear teeth, which experience a lot of pressure when they’re clenched together.
If you notice that a few of your teeth feel achy and sore in the morning and then the pain subsides throughout the day, teeth grinding may be the cause. Grinding puts a lot of strain on the ligaments and support structures of the teeth, which can cause pain, tenderness, and discomfort.
If left untreated, teeth grinding will eventually wear down your teeth significantly. Your teeth are not meant to be contacting and grinding against each other for long periods of time, so bruxism can result in premature wear.
In some cases, teeth grinding can even break or crack one or more of your teeth. This is particularly common in people with an imperfect bite, since the pressure of clenching and grinding will not be evenly distributed among the teeth.
Similarly, teeth grinding can damage tooth restorations like fillings, crowns, or even bridges and dental implants, resulting in further complications.
As mentioned, teeth grinding puts strain on the ligaments and support structures of the teeth. This can lead to loose teeth or even complete tooth loss. However, this is relatively rare and mostly only occurs when other contributing factors like gum disease are present, and when grinding is extremely severe.
Grinding the teeth also puts a lot of strain on the jaw muscles. This can cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD), a painful condition affecting the small joints that attach your jaw to your skull.
TMJ/TMD can lead to headaches, pain when chewing, jaw “locking” and lots of other symptoms. Bruxism can lead to a variety of other conditions related to your jaw muscles, too, so you should see a dentist if you’re experiencing any kind of jaw pain.
Most people with teeth grinding can be treated with a nightguard. Nightguards are made of durable plastic, and they cushion the teeth and prevent direct tooth-to-tooth contact. This can reduce grinding and its negative effects on your teeth and oral health.
To learn more, get a diagnosis, and see if a nightguard is right for you, contact Cibolo Family Smiles online or give us a call at (210) 797-7740 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Niraj Patel.
Judgment-Free, Skillful Dental Care in Cibolo(210) 797-7740