Teeth grinding, also called “bruxism” is a very common oral health issue. It is estimated to affect somewhere between 8% to 31% of Americans, depending on the study you look at. And while it’s not always harmful, heavy and prolonged teeth grinding can contribute to a lot of dental health issues.
An experienced dentist in Murphy, TX will take a look at the problems caused by teeth grinding below, and discuss a few steps you can take to mitigate the damaging effects of bruxism.
What Problems Can Be Caused By Teeth Grinding?
Your teeth are supposed to make contact when you bite into food and chew, but they are not meant to be ground together uncontrollably for a long period of time.
This is called a “parafunctional” activity, and can result in a lot of different oral problems, depending on the severity of bruxism, how long it affects you, and your overall dental health.
- Tooth wear & tear – First and foremost, teeth grinding puts excessive wear and strain on your teeth. They can become ground down to nubs, crack, chip, or even become loose and fall out of your mouth with prolonged grinding.
- Damage to dental work like fillings & crowns – Similarly to the damage done to natural teeth, bruxism also damages dental restorations like fillings and crowns over time, causing them to crack, loosen, or otherwise fail prematurely.
- Tooth pain and sensitivity – Worn-down, weak teeth can cause sensitivity and even pain. The stress of grinding also puts a lot of strain on the ligaments below your teeth, which may ache and feel sore, causing significant oral pain.
- Jaw problems like TMJ/TMD – Along with your teeth, your jaw muscles also are strained by habitual teeth grinding. This can lead to jaw pain and soreness, and conditions like TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).
How To Control Teeth Grinding & Prevent Dental Issues
While teeth grinding is a serious oral health issue, there are a few different steps you can take to reduce grinding and keep your mouth healthy. Here are some tips from Dr. Larsen and the team at Parkside Dental.
- Find ways to relax and de-stress – Both daytime and nighttime grinding are associated with stress. Finding ways to de-stress, like establishing a healthy bedtime routine, exercising, meditating, or even meeting with a therapist may be helpful for reducing the severity and frequency of grinding.
- Cut back on caffeine and alcohol – Caffeine and alcohol use are both associated with teeth grinding. Consider cutting back on your consumption of these substances to help keep your teeth grinding under control.
- Get a custom-fitted nightguard – Night guards are shaped like retainers, and usually cover your upper teeth. They use a blend of soft, cushioning plastic and hard plastic to prevent your teeth from contacting each other directly when you grind your teeth. This protects your oral health and prevents your teeth from damage and premature wear.
Contact Parkside Dental – Get Help For Teeth Grinding In Murphy, TX
At Parkside Dental, Dr. Larsen has years of experience treating teeth grinding. With treatment such as a night guard, you can manage your condition, protect your teeth, and sleep soundly once again. To get started, just contact us online or give us a call at (972) 442-7550.