Why should I be concerned about teeth grinding?

Find out just what could happen if you ignore the problem!

Today I’m going to explain in detail exactly what happens when you grind your teeth.

  • Why do people do it?
  • What does it do to your teeth?
  • Why should you be concerned?

If you don’t know enough about the adverse effects of teeth grinding, you may overlook the problem and end up worse off than you ever imagined. To understand the importance of addressing the problem of bruxism, you should first know why people begin grinding or clenching in the first place.

Why do people do it?

There are numerous causes for people to begin grinding their teeth. Some researchers have suggested that it is a reflex associated with chewing food, and sometimes occurs in the sleep because of unconscious triggers.

Another possibility is that stress and tension lead to clenching of the teeth. This stress can be either physical (i.e. tension or discomfort in the neck, shoulders or facial muscles) or mental (i.e. an inability to relax and stay calm and focused). Everyone deals with stress differently, but grinding your teeth is not the proper way to do it. Instead, you should try daily relaxation techniques, and be sure to take time away from your crazy day to unwind.

An uneven or crooked bite can also cause someone to grind or clench their teeth. If your bite does not align correctly, you may find yourself constantly adjusting the position of your jaw, and sliding your teeth around to find a position that feels comfortable. This sliding and adjusting can take quite a toll on the surface of your teeth.

What does it do to your teeth?

Consistent grinding wears down your teeth over time, slowly tearing through each layer of your tooth. The thin layer of shiny enamel is the first thing to go. Weakening this shiny, protective layer significantly increases the risk of infection and staining for your teeth. The layer beneath, dentin, has a slightly yellow-brown shade, and exposing it can cause your teeth to appear dull and even yellow. If the grinding continues long enough to damage the dentin, you will risk losing that tooth because you have injured the fundamental structure of the tooth.

Why should you be concerned?

The dangers of grinding your teeth are serious, and can cause significant damage if not addressed properly. You could end up losing enamel and biting surface, or even worse your gums or a whole tooth. Considering almost everyone experiences some form of bruxism in their life, it is important to watch out for the signs and report any symptoms to your dentist right away. It is always a shame to see patients with grinding-related damage that could have easily been prevented.

If you think you may have signs of bruxism, click here to schedule a free consultation.

Next week we will talk about possible treatment options for bruxism, ranging from the very simple to the complex. A dentist will be able to tell you to exactly which option is best for you, but at least the next newsletter will give you a general idea of which treatment you might like to explore.

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