Whether caused by stress, an abnormal bite, crooked teeth, or no apparent reason, grinding your teeth is a damaging habit. Also called bruxism, this dental concern is common, but can quickly lead to complications.
The dangers of grinding your teeth include:
Tooth Pain and Damage
Grinding the teeth wears away at the enamel, which is the outer protective layer of the teeth. Over time, this increases your risk of sustaining tooth damage, including cracks, chips, and fractures. Along with tooth damage, the impact of grinding can also cause toothaches.
Gum recession occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth and uncover the root surfaces. While gum recession most commonly occurs as a result of gingivitis, it can result from unaddressed bruxism. The pressure of grinding your teeth can cause the gums to recede, leading to various problems including tooth sensitivity, gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
Bruxism is known to cause headaches. This is because grinding your teeth strains the involved tendons, muscles, and joints. As a result, you may experience a dull headache around the temples. Sometimes, patients also experience earaches and even migraines.
TMJ disorder is a condition affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which links the jawbone to the skull. With TMJ disorder, patients experience jaw pain, trouble chewing, locking of the jaw joint, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus), among other symptoms.
Grinding the teeth is a common cause of TMJ disorder. Left untreated, TMJ disorder can lead to chronic jaw pain, reduced jaw function, and an increased risk for dental problems.
At 19th Avenue Dental, we can help you overcome bruxism to prevent long-term complications. A custom night guard can prevent impact on the teeth from bruxism while you sleep. To learn more, schedule an appointment at our office today!