What You Need to Know About Teeth Grinding

Oral health

Most people remember being young and being yelled at for grinding their teeth, but they never really understood what the big deal was. But teeth grinding, or bruxism, can have some serious effects on your oral health. With about 10% of adults and 15% of adults grinding their teeth, it’s easy to see why many need to break the habit.

A professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine says that clenching your teeth together while you sleep is the equivalent to putting a 300lbs. force on your teeth. In addition, teeth grinding leads to 80% of all headaches and muscle tension. So you can imagine how bad grinding and clenching your teeth is for your dental hygiene.

Teeth grinding often occurs due to stress, an abnormal bite, or missing/crooked teeth. It can be difficult to detect whether or not your are grinding them because it tends to happen while we are asleep. However, dentists say that if you consistently wake up with a sore mouth or jaw, you are likely grinding your teeth at night.

The problem is, if you do grind your teeth, you can seriously damage your teeth and jaw. There have been cases that lead to tooth fractures, loose teeth, or even losing teeth. When you grind them, you basically wear them down to nubs. It can also affect your jaw, even so far as to change your appearance.

The great thing is, there are dental care options to help you kick this habit and protect your teeth. Night guards, for example, sit over your teeth and help protect them from rubbing against each other. If you are grinding due to stress, you should work with your dentist and regular doctor to find ways to reduce your stress. Keep track of when you tend to clench or grind during the day as well, as this can help in your treatment!

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