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The Dangers of Grinding Your Teeth

Posted on Aug 13, 2012 by DentalVibe
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The Dangers of Grinding Your Teeth

Think tooth grinding is a relatively minor concern? Think again.

Dental pain is almost always a sign of something serious, not to mention a very good reason to see your dentist. Grinding is no exception. In fact, grinding (or "bruxism," as doctors call it) puts your entire mouth in jeopardy within a short period of time. 

Studies show that most people go through a grinding stage at some point in their lives, and many of them don't even know they do it. Grinding is a subconscious response to stress or some other trigger, so it can do damage while escaping your notice. 

Beyond Just Dental Pain, Tooth Grinding Causes Serious Oral Health Problems

That's disconcerting because the extent of that damage can be pretty severe. Grinding can lead to fractured or loosened teeth. In some cases, the teeth may fall out or be completely worn away over time. Grinders may require bridges, crowns, or root canals to correct the damage done. In extreme cases, dentures may even be necessary. 

Grinding also wears away at enamel, which weakens your teeth and contributes to a yellowing appearance. It affects your sleep (the constant movement during your slumber prevents you from entering a deep state of rest) and can lead to depression. 

Jaw Problems Can Pose Even More Serious Concerns Than Bruxism Alone 

But even more problematic than the wear and tear on your teeth is the tension that frequent clenching puts on your jaws. The human jaw is made to move for chewing but was not designed to be clenched. Too much clenching weakens the joints and causes jaw problems you don't want to deal with. 

Jaw degeneration can eventually result in TMD/TMJ disorders, facial changes, chewing impairment, dental misalignment, and hearing loss. The jaw pain can evolve into a chronic condition and cause significant distress. 

Other complications include osteoarthritis, tooth sensitivity, and bone loss in those who already have periodontal disease (grinding or clenching alone will not cause gum disease).

If you suspect you have a tooth grinding problem, see your dentist immediately. Look for signs that you're grinding your teeth and follow our tips on how to stop grinding teeth. Your dentist can determine how much damage has been done and take corrective action when necessary. Don't let grinding go on... protect your teeth and return to comfort as soon as possible!

Did you know that tooth grinding can be so serious?

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