How Tooth Grinding Damages the Teeth

How Tooth Grinding Damages the Teeth

You probably assume you do not grind your teeth. But most teeth grinding takes place unconsciously during sleep. Do you ever suffer from a sore jaw? If so, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep and not know it.

Teeth grinding, or bruxism as it is called, is harmful to your teeth and overall oral health. It can lead to jaw pain, TMJ disorders and other oral problems.

In addition to problems with the jaw, bruxism causes significant damage to the teeth, particularly the molars. Teeth that are involved in grinding will sustain cracks. Eventually, if left untreated, the ever-deepening cracks will cause parts of the teeth to break away due to the pressure exerted from grinding.

Furthermore, constant grinding causes the enamel to wear away. As this happens, the teeth become shorter. While chewing, having shorter teeth causes the upper and lower jaw to come together with greater force, which leads to further damage to the teeth.

Your dentist will notice if you suffer from teeth grinding during a dental exam. If you are grinding your teeth, there are things that can help to reduce or eliminate the problem. Heat or ice packs can be applied to the jaw to reduce pain. Mouth guards can be worn at night to keep the teeth and jaw in proper alignment and prevent grinding. Stress is a common cause of teeth grinding, so if you grind your teeth, your dentist will likely recommend things you can try to reduce stress.