Millions of Americans grind their teeth. Grinding teeth, or bruxism, can cause a number of dental issues over time. Most people are guilty of grinding their teeth occasionally and that is pretty normal. However, constant or habitual grinding can lead to a number of expensive dental problems. Luckily, the effects of grinding your teeth take some time so you can still stop. Most people grind in their sleep and are unaware that they are even doing it. A number of factors cause teeth grinding but a definite reason is different for each case. There are ways to prevent the constant grinding of your teeth. Investing in oral appliances can help you quit grinding your teeth and prevent long term damage.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is an involuntary reaction. Most commonly, people grind their teeth as a reaction to stress or anxiety. Most people grind their teeth while they are sleeping. Unfortunately, it can be hard to stop something while you are sleeping. Another common reason for grinding teeth is crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. The unevenness causes you to constantly adjust your bite resulting in grinding teeth. Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can also cause bruxism in your sleep.
Since teeth grinding happens mostly during your sleep, it can be hard to pinpoint just why you are doing it. If you are not sure if you grind your teeth, there are signs that you are grinding your teeth that can help you narrow down possible reasons. Some of the commons signs of grinding your teeth include:
- Sore jaw when you wake up
- Flattened teeth
- Increase tooth pain or sensitivity
It is important to watch for these issues. Keeping track of these issues and addressing them sooner rather than later can help you protect your teeth from further damage. There are several preventative measures you can take to protect your teeth from grinding in your sleep.
Harmful Effects of Teeth Grinding
Grinding your teeth can cause serious damage to your teeth. Grinding your teeth over an extended period of time can cause fracturing, loosening, or the loss of teeth. Grinding your teeth every night can misshape your teeth, wearing them down dramatically. This can result in the need for dental crowns, dental bridges, or even dental implants to undo the damage that was done.
Ways to Prevent Grinding Your Teeth
Bruxism has been an issue for people for thousands of years. You are not the first person to do it and you will likely not be the last. Dentists have found ways to curb teeth grinding and more accurately determine causes of teeth grinding.
Avoid Chewing on Hard Objects
Hard objects can crack weakened teeth. It is important to avoid chewing on objects in a matter that simulates grinding your teeth.
Invest in a Mouthguard
People who struggle with teeth grinding in their sleep often sleep with a mouthguard to avoid doing damage to their teeth. Most dentists can help you get a custom mouthguard that can find your mouth.
Practice Stress Reduction Techniques
Stress is the main cause of teeth grinding. By practicing stress reduction techniques, you can limit the amount of grinding you do during stressful situations. this can protect not only your teeth but your mental health as well.
Contact LoveJoy Dentistry Today
Your teeth are important. It is important to take care of them every day. In addition to helping you stop grinding your teeth, LoveJoy Dentistry can help with a number of dental problems. Some of the services we offer include:
- Porcelain Veneers
- Teeth Whitening Services
- Composite Fillings
- Oral Cancer Screenings
- Periodontal Therapy Services
If you or your partner cannot stop grinding your teeth, call 972.449.7411 to speak to a dental professional about protecting your smile.