How Tooth Grinding Affects Your Oral Health

iStock_000054702932_XXXLargeTooth grinding is very common and can harm your oral health. It is something that may be done unconsciously and often occurs as a result of stress. When it happens regularly, your teeth may become severely damaged. It is important to understand how grinding affects your teeth and effective ways to treat the issue.

Causes and Signs of Teeth Grinding:

Grinding is a condition called bruxism. It can be brought on by misaligned teeth, stress, or anxiety. It may also be caused by acid reflux. According to the American Dental Association, grinding your teeth may bring you dull headaches, sore jaw muscles, or ear pain. When grinding occurs on a regular basis, you may notice your teeth begin to chip, wear down, or feel loose. Your tongue and inner cheeks may have bite marks as well.

Complications from Tooth Grinding:

It is essential to detect bruxism before it causes severe dental complications. Long term teeth grinding may lead to the erosion of enamel that exposes layers of dentin. This can cause decay or sensitivity. Heavy grinding may fracture fillings as well. Besides these oral problems, grinding may cause jaw muscles to swell and make chewing difficult.

Dental Tips to Treat Bruxism:

Many people clench or grind teeth unconsciously, so it may go undetected for some time. However, a dentist will uncover the problem during a regular checkup and analyze the reasons behind the grinding. If the issue is caused by improper tooth alignment, it is possible to have your bite adjusted. To prevent further damage, your dentist may fit your mouth with a guard that separates teeth so that they cannot make contact, which is especially helpful at night. When stress is at the root of the problem, you may wish to find ways to relax. Meditation is an effective natural way to lower anxiety and curb the tooth grinding habit.

If you suspect you are grinding your teeth and want help with the problem, you should consult with your dentist. The consequences of the habit can cause permanent damage. Treating the issue early can literally save you headaches and unnecessary pain.

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