Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, may be a habit that can easily go unnoticed. Most people usually grind their teeth throughout the day, and for the most part, occasional teeth grinding does not cause significant harm. However, grinding can continue on a regular basis and often occurs during sleep. After a night of grinding, people tend to wake up with a headache and even a sore jaw.
Although teeth grinding may not initially seem too big of a problem, chronic bruxism can lead to the fracturing and loosening of teeth. Constant grinding can also result in micro-cracks in the enamel, which makes teeth more susceptible to decay. Bridges, crowns, root canals, and implants may then be necessary down the road. Teeth grinding not only results in tooth loss, but can also cause hearing loss and problems with the jaw.
Here are some tips to prevent teeth grinding:
Researchers have attributed teeth grinding to stress and even anger. When things get heavy, take a break and go for a walk. Learn how to find an outlet during stressful and frustrating situations; your teeth will thank you!
Try to avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as certain carbonated drinks and coffee.
Chewing on pencils and pens may be a way to pass by time, but it can allow jaw muscles to become used to clenching frequently, leading to a higher likelihood of teeth grinding.
It is possible to also train yourself from clenching and grinding teeth. Be mindful of jaw movements throughout the day. Positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth can help allow jaw muscles to relax.
If you believe that you may be grinding teeth, or you are aware that teeth grinding continues to persist, don’t hesitate to come in for a consultation. We can look for signs of bruxism and assess its causes whether it be stress-related, TMJ, bite issues, etc, and see if a night guard is necessary to protect your teeth.
Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions about oral health and teeth grinding. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
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