Most people don't even realize that they're doing it: grinding and clenching their teeth as a nervous habit. Though it may seem to be an innocent and mindless thing to do, teeth grinding (also called bruxism) can cause a number of serious and expensive dental problems to develop after a while. Learn how to get control of your teeth grinding now with the help of a dentist.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
There are a number of reasons why a patient might start grinding his or her teeth. In some cases, it is rooted in stress or anxiety. The clenching action is a response when someone is trying to manage a tense situation. Some people grind their teeth when asleep, which may be related to a sleep disorder. In other cases, teeth grinding is due to an orthodontic problem where the teeth and jaw are not properly aligned.
Tooth Problems Associated with Grinding
Grinding your teeth can become more than just a minor annoyance. It can put you at risk for the following dental health problems:
- Worn down enamel that makes the teeth vulnerable to deep staining and discoloration.
- Shearing down of the top surfaces of the teeth, making them more vulnerable to tooth decay.
- Abscesses due to undue pressure on the roots of the teeth.
- Jaw tenderness and TMJ disorder.
There are easy solutions available at your local dentist’s office to prevent grinding and protect your teeth from damage. The simplest solution is to wear a custom-made night guard, bite guard or similar appliance designed by your dentist. If your bruxism is due to an orthodontic problem, braces may be the suggested solution. A device can also be fitted to help bring the jaw forward. Your dentist will also counsel you on methods to reduce anxiety that causes teeth grinding, including a better diet.
See Your Expert Stamford Dentist
Going to a dentist is your best course of action to combat teeth grinding and clenching. Call Bozena J. Kierski, DDS in Stamford CT, at (203) 348-5612 today to schedule an appointment!