Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition that can severely impact your oral health. The American Sleep Association estimates that 10 percent of all people suffer from bruxism. This involuntary condition can be triggered by several factors, including stress, anxiety, caffeine consumption, family history, and the misalignment of the teeth.
Most people experience bruxism while they are asleep, which means that they are not conscious that they are grinding their teeth. However, some people will catch themselves grinding or clenching their teeth during the day when they are under stress.
Here are the five top reasons why you should not ignore teeth grinding:
- It can remove tooth enamel. Enamel provides an outer protective covering for each tooth. When people grind or clench their teeth at night, the force that is exerted is enough to wear down the tooth enamel.
- It increases the risk for TMD. The temporomandibular joint allows the jaw to open and close. Grinding the teeth makes the muscles surrounding the joints tighten, and you can wake up with a sore jaw. TMD can lead to chronic pain, headaches, and may require corrective surgery.
- The front teeth can be chiseled down. People who grind their teeth are causing excessive wearing down of their tooth enamel. If the front teeth have a “flattened” appearance or appear to shorten, you need to speak with your dentist. Tooth grinding can cause irreparable damage to your smile.
- It can cause gum recession. The gum tissues are present inside your mouth to protect the roots of the teeth and to provide stability for your teeth. Teeth grinding forcefully pushes the teeth against the gum tissues and will eventually cause the gums to recede. Gum recession is irreversible and will lead to extreme tooth sensitivity.
- It can lead to fractured or dislodged teeth. If gum recession occurs, the teeth lose their stability within the mouth. If excessive stress is repeatedly placed upon the teeth, they can be fractured from the pressure.
Bruxism is a condition that should not be ignored. If you think you may be grinding your teeth, please contact Peninsula Dentistry and make an appointment with us today.