You could be grinding your teeth at night without even realizing it. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be damaging for several different reasons.
Are you or your child struggling with teeth grinding? We can assist you in addressing the source of the problem and then assess the damage to your teeth.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
There isn’t just one cause for teeth grinding. There could be several different reasons you are grinding your teeth, including stress, anxiety, an improper bite, or various sleep disorders.
Your teeth can also drag against each other while you bite or chew if they are not aligned properly. You might not even realize you are grinding your teeth because it has become a habit or it happens while you are sleeping.
The Journal of the American Dental Association notes that smoking and drinking alcohol can cause an increase in teeth grinding. In fact, smokers and alcohol drinkers are twice as likely to grind their teeth.
Effects Grinding Has on Your Teeth
The more you grind your teeth, the more worn down and damaged they will become. Grinding causes increased sensitivity and can even loosen your teeth.
Teeth are comparable to bones, which means they can crack or fracture easily from grinding. When teeth are constantly dragging against one another, they can develop flat spots and become shorter in appearance.
Bruxism can also make you susceptible to other complications in the future, including acute jaw pain and chronic headaches.
How can you tell if you have been grinding your teeth at night? If you wake up with sore muscles and tired muscles in your jaw, you are likely dealing with grinding in your sleep.
We Can Help You
When you come in, we will assess the damage you already have from grinding first, and then we will work with you to figure out a game plan to keep your teeth from experiencing any more damage.
In many cases we will recommend wearing a mouthguard at night which will act as a barrier between your teeth to prevent them from grinding together. If your grinding is caused by stress and anxiety, the top priority will be for figuring out ways to reduce these feelings. In adults, stress is the most common cause of grinding, and in children improper alignment is the most common cause.