Teeth grinding refers to the clenching, shifting, and gnashing that a person's teeth does during the night. This can be caused by a host of different factors. Regardless, the teeth grinding is not something you should take for granted since it can cause a number of different dental health and general health issues.
The team at Four Seasons Dental takes teeth grinding seriously. Offering advanced general dentistry in the Pittsburgh area, we can help you overcome this problem. Let's consider the dangers of teeth grinding right now.
What Causes Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)?
Teeth grinding may be the result of tooth misalignment (malocclusion), stress or anxiety, jaw injuries, use of certain medications or drugs. A combination of these causes is not uncommon.
Tooth Damage Becomes More Likely
When you grind your teeth, you make issues with tooth damage such as chips and cracks more likely. This is particularly true if the wear on the teeth is long term and the teeth grinding goes untreated.
Gum Recession Becomes More Likely
In addition to harming your teeth, the stress placed on your teeth and gums can lead to gum recession. This exposes more of your tooth root, making tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, and root canal infection more likely.
Increasing Risk of TMJ Disorders
Grinding your teeth means that your jaw is often placed under and intense amount of stress. Over time, this can lead to problems with the health of the jaw joint, including damage to the cartilage, issues with nerves, or strain of the muscles. This is known as a TMJ disorder, and it can cause popping, locking, and pain.
Headaches and Facial Pain
Placing so much stress on the teeth, gums, and jaw joint isn't all. When you grind your teeth, you're more likely to notice headaches and facial pain in general, including headaches that originate in the temples as well as ear aches.
Issues with Sleep and Restfulness
Due to the various kinds of soreness and strain experienced as part of teeth grinding, it should come as no surprise that restful sleep I more difficult when you suffer from the condition. You may feel fatigue or mental fogginess in addition to various kinds of aches and pain.
Treating Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Treating teeth grinding will involve treating the root cause of the condition.
One common approach to treating teeth grinding is the creation of a mouth guard known as a bit guard. This mouthpiece is worn during sleep and prevents direct contact between the teeth of the upper dental arch and the teeth of the lower dental arch, reducing pressure placed on the structures of the mouth.
If malocclusion is causing your teeth grinding to occur, part of the treatment process for teeth grinding will be orthodontic care. This will improve overall tooth alignment and make teeth grinding less likely in the process.
With regard to stress and anxiety, your dentist or general practitioner may recommend exercise or various kinds of stress management/relaxation techniques that will help you be relaxed before you go to bed.
Contact Four Seasons Dental
For more information about treating and preventing teeth grinding, it's of the utmost importance that you contact our family dental care practice today. The entire team here at Four Seasons Dental looks forward to your visit and helping you sleep and rest easy.