We all grind or clench our teeth now and then. Occasional teeth grinding, known medically as bruxism, does not typically cause harm. However, grinding teeth on a regular basis can cause damage to your teeth, as well as other oral health issues. Dr. Steven Harrison has been serving the Springfield area at Parkcrest Dental Group since 1986, and he is dedicated to the complete dental health of his patients. In today’s blog, Dr. Harrison takes a closer look at teeth grinding.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
Like many medical issues, there is no single answer to this question. Some may grind their teeth during times of stress, anxiety, or even anger. Grinding often occurs during sleep, and this unconscious grinding can be very harmful over time. Often teeth grinding while asleep is caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can also worsen the condition.
How Do I Know if I Grind My Teeth While Sleeping?
Because grinding frequently occurs during sleep, people are often unaware that they are doing it. However, a dull, persistent headache, or jaw pain when you wake up is a classic symptom of bruxism. People also often become aware of grinding when a loved one hears the grinding at night. If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth during sleep, you should talk to your dentist. A dentist can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of grinding, such as excessive wear on your teeth.
Why Is It Harmful?
Chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening or loss of teeth. Ongoing grinding can eventually wear the teeth down to stumps. When this occurs, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures or even full dentures may become necessary.
Ways to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
One of the ways to correct grinding is through a mouth guard. Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. If stress causes you to grind your teeth, you should talk to your dentist or physician about ways to reduce stress. If an underlying sleep disorder is causing your bruxism, seeking treatment from your physician can eliminate the grinding. You can also cut back on foods and drinks with caffeine, such as chocolate, sodas and coffee. Alcohol consumption can also contribute to grinding teeth.
Contact Dr. Steven Harrison at Parkcrest Dental Group
Dr. Steven Harrison has been dedicated to serving the Springfield area since 1986. If you have questions about bruxism, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Harrison and his team of friendly professionals at Parkcrest Dental Group.