Grinding Your Teeth to Dust

Woman grinding her teeth

Bruxism or teeth grinding effects around 8% of adults and even more children. Grinding your teeth can have serious consequences. Your dental health is in serious danger if you habitually grind your teeth. Along with headaches, and jaw problems- your teeth really pay the price. Learn about risk factors, consequences, and prevention of grinding your teeth.

 

Risk Factors:

  • STRESS: It’s true that anyone can at some point experience teeth grinding. I feel like in this world it is impossible to have a handle on stress at all points of your life. We’ve all been at that point where it seems like stress just hits you like an avalanche and you just can’t seem to get on top of it. In those moments even when you sleep, you can’t escape it. In those situations, your muscles can clench while your sleeping and your strong jaw can really do a number on those pearly whites.
  • AGE: It is true that bruxism is much more common in children. Children do tend to grow out of it, but those dang 8% are left suffering.
  • MEDICATIONS: Make sure you read that warning label. Bruxism can be a nasty surprise side effect of a lot of medications. It is something you will want to take into consideration, especially if the medication is needed for long-term use.
  • GENETICS: Darn those unavoidable genes. Bruxism tends to run in families. If you have it, chances are you’re not alone.

 

Oral Consequences:

One of the most common side effects of bruxism is the wearing of enamel. This may sound like it isn’t that bad, but without the protective enamel layer- your teeth are at serious risk for a number of issues like these: Gum Disease, Tooth Sensitivity, Tooth Decay, and Discoloration. Grinding can also cause your teeth to become flattened, fractured, chipped or loose. Here are some other signs that you really need to get your bruxism under control

  • Tooth pain and sensitivity
  • Tight and sore jaw muscles
  • Pain presenting as an earache
  • Dull headaches around the temples
  • Damage to your inner cheek (from chewing)
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Frequent cavities
  • Cracked teeth

 

Solutions:

The simplest solution for oral protection is to be fitted for a mouth guard. Wearing a mouthguard at night can really do wonders for keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Other solutions include finding a stress release regime that works for you, limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, and even using a warm compress on your jaw before falling asleep.

Eagle Rock Dental Care is here and ready to help! If you have any of the symptoms of bruxism please give us a call and let’s make sure that smile is protected! You can contact us at any of our three local Eastern Idaho locations. And now, for your convenience you can even schedule your appointment online!

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