What is Teeth Grinding and Clenching?
Teeth grinding is when someone has a habit of clenching their jaw and grinding their teeth at night while sleeping. The medical term for this disorder is known as bruxism. In severe cases, some people even clench their jaw and grind their teeth during the day without realizing it. They can suffer from jaw disorders and other serious symptoms in these cases.
Why is grinding teeth bad? It can lead to the following symptoms:
- Severe headaches
- Facial pain
- Damaged enamel, fractured and chipped teeth
- Disruption during sleep
- Tooth pain and sensitivity
- Teeth grinding and jaw clenching
- Tight jaw muscles or lockjaw
Around 10% of people suffer from these symptoms, and if it gets under control early, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in dental bills. You should see a dentist for a diagnosis and get a night guard as a preventative measure to relieve your symptoms.
How Bruxism Damages Your Teeth
When you are sleeping and grinding and gnashing your teeth, it leads to enamel erosion. This is the outer layer of your teeth. Once the enamel is damaged, it causes teeth sensitivity and pain. Unfortunately, the enamel also can't be replaced. During teeth grinding, you can also damage your crowns and cause chipping and breaking on the top of your teeth.
Another symptom is gum recession. If you grind your teeth continuously and teeth start to shift, the gums are susceptible to bacteria and germs, which cause an infection in your gums. Overall, your teeth and gums become weaker and prone to dental conditions that will also take a toll on your wallet.
What are the Causes of Bruxism?
According to research, there are two different types of bruxism:
- Awake bruxism: This is often caused by stress, anxiety, tension, anger, or emotional stress.
- Sleep bruxism: It is often caused by "sleep-related chewing activity associated with arousals during sleep."
There are some factors that contribute to you having bruxism. These include a hyperactive personality, medications, a family history of bruxism, alcohol use, caffeine, smoking, and mental or physical disorders, such as Parkinson's or sleep apnea.
Knowing how bad it is grinding your teeth at night is the first step to getting help for bruxism symptoms. You can make some behavioral modifications to prevent teeth grinding and clenching at night.
Change Your Diet
Changing your diet can help significantly. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine before sleep. Bruxism has also been associated with poor digestion. Healthy eating can help lessen the symptoms. Also, avoid eating before bed and allow time before meals and sleep.
Address Medical Conditions
Speak to your health care provider if you are suffering from medical conditions that might cause you to grind your teeth at night. Pay attention to how stressed you are at school and work and find time to work on your mental and emotional health.
Are you taking medications that can cause teeth grinding and jaw clenching? Ask your health care provider if any of the medications you take can cause teeth grinding.
Custom-Made Night Guard
A custom-made night guard is an excellent solution to preventing teeth from grinding. This device fits your mouth perfectly, aligns the jaw, and separates your teeth. The surface of your teeth will no longer rub together and damage the enamel. When made correctly, you can get a good night's sleep and the peace of mind that your teeth are protected.
So, is teeth grinding bad? The short answer is yes! It will disrupt your sleep, chip and break teeth, cause pain in your jaw and face, earache, and many other symptoms associated with teeth grinding.
Learn more about what causes teeth grinding here!
How We Can Help
Here at WatchMyMouth, we will send you an easy-to-use molding kit with a prepaid return envelope. Sit back and wait for your custom-made night guard to help relieve you of your bruxism symptoms. Stop teeth grinding today with a durable and comfortable night guard!