The Effects of Teeth Grinding

Has anyone ever told you that you grind your teeth while sleeping? Or does your dentist regularly ask if you notice yourself clenching your teeth frequently? As a result of habit, or doing it while you’re sleeping, many teeth grinders don’t even know they are grinding until there is noticeable damage to their teeth.

Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis teeth can be damaged and you can experience other oral health complications as a result.

The American Sleep Association estimates that 10 percent of all people (and 15 percent of all children) suffer from bruxism. This unconscious condition is triggered by several factors including anxiety, family history, teeth alignment, and caffeine consumption.

Teeth grinding can create numerous problems such as local muscular pain, headaches, loss of tooth structure, gum recession, loose teeth, and shortening of teeth, tooth sensitivity, cracked and broken teeth, and damage to the bone structure of the jaw joint (TMJ syndrome).

When you grind your teeth, the pressure you exert is nearly 10 times that of regular chewing. After years of bruxism, the enamel on your teeth will thin, making your teeth more sensitive to heat and cold. In some cases, bruxism exposes the underlying layers of your teeth, increasing sensitivity and making you at risk for tooth decay.

If you think you are suffering from bruxism, call and make an appointment with us today. A prosthodontist in Wheeling, IL, will examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and excessive wear on your teeth.