Teeth grinding can be annoying for both you and those around you, but annoyance is hardly the biggest negative of the habit. Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding can be a symptom of a larger problem such as stress or malocclusion (bite misalignment). And if you don’t stop grinding your teeth, it can lead to some serious issues.
At Metropolitan Dental Care, our dentists are experts at treating bruxism. We will determine the cause of your bruxism and offer solutions to help keep you from clenching and grinding your teeth.
Here are the negative effects of teeth grinding that we will treat or prevent at your appointment:
Bruxism often causes strain on the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which are the joints that connect the jaw to the skull. This causes pain and stiffness in both the jaw joints and the surrounding muscles. If it goes on for long enough, teeth grinding can lead to TMJ disorder. This often results in constant pain, difficulty chewing, and several other symptoms.
In some cases, bruxism is a symptom of TMJ disorder rather than the other way around. In either case, our Denver dentists can determine the cause and help prevent further pain.
2. Headaches and Earaches
Your face has 43 different muscles, many of which are interconnected. Something affecting muscles in one area of your face may affect other muscles as well.
Jaw strain caused by teeth grinding can lead to strain in surrounding areas, leading to headaches and earaches. If you are grinding hard enough it could also cause vibrations in your skull, which may be another cause of headaches.
3. Poor Sleep Quality
Teeth grinding is most common during sleeping hours. Unfortunately, the pressure and pain from bruxism can interrupt and reduce the quality of your sleep. Some people may even wake their partners up with the sound of grinding. A custom-fitted mouthguard from our dentists will keep you from grinding at night so that you and your partner can get better sleep.
4. Worn-Down Teeth
Your teeth are covered by a protective layer of enamel. This enamel keeps heat, cold, and bacteria from reaching the sensitive dentin underneath. If enamel gets worn down, it can lead to tooth sensitivity and increase the risk for cavities.
When you grind your teeth, you’re essentially rubbing two hard surfaces together. This often removes the protective enamel from the surface of each tooth. If your bruxism is bad enough, you may even wear down your tooth’s dentin. Enamel and dentin do not regenerate, so if you wear them down, you’ll likely need a dental crown.
Contact Us for a Bruxism Consultation
If you grind your teeth, visit Metropolitan Dental Care in Denver, CO. Our dentists have experience diagnosing and treating bruxism and its symptoms. We will evaluate your teeth and recommend a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs. Our team will also offer suggestions for lifestyle changes that will help reduce the symptoms of teeth grinding. To schedule a bruxism consultation, contact us today by filling out our online form or by calling 303-543-2626.