Clenching & Grinding (Bruxism)

Clenching & Grinding (Bruxism)


How Teeth Grinding Effects Your Oral Health

Teeth clenching and grinding, which is medically referred to as bruxism, is a common problem. The occasional clenching and grinding of your teeth shouldn’t cause much concern, but some people do it a lot throughout the day and even at night while they’re sleeping without even knowing it. If left untreated, this can cause a number of oral health problems.

What Causes Bruxism?

People grind and clench their teeth for different reasons. Sometimes, it’s because of anxiety and stress. Studies show that too much caffeine, depression, smoking and alcohol can also make you grind and clench your teeth. It can even occur while sleeping if you’re having a bad dream. Some sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can cause bruxism as well. However, one of the most common reasons why people grind and clench their teeth while they’re awake or asleep is an abnormal bite. It can be caused by crooked or missing teeth.

Problems Caused by Bruxism

If you’re grinding and clenching your teeth a lot throughout the day, you’re wearing down your teeth. Over time, the weakening of your teeth can lead to a number of problems such as breaks in your teeth. This makes it easier to get cavities, and you may eventually need to replace the entire tooth.

How to Tell If You Grind or Clench Your Teeth

The majority of bruxism occurs while you’re sleeping. As a result, you may not even know that grinding and clenching is a problem for you. Thankfully, there are a few telltale signs that can alert you to this problem. If you wake up with a sore jaw or a dull headache often, you may be clenching your teeth at night while you sleep. If you think that you are, it’s important to be fitted for a mouth guard to protect your teeth.

If you think you’re clenching or grinding your teeth during the day or at night, give the office of Robert Chester, DDS a call.

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