Dental Blog


Teeth Grinding

Dental issues can cause extensive damage in pain if not handled properly.  Most dental issues are very noticeable while some, such as teeth grinding, may not be noticed until damage has already been done.  Teeth grinding often happens during sleep, leaving the patient unaware unless there is pain or someone else hears it.

Your dentist may refer to teeth grinding with the technical term of Bruxism.  This act can cause damage to your teeth.  Stress can trigger the grinding or clenching.  It is also very common for teeth grinding to occur during sleep. Complications of the teeth and even the jaw can result from long term teeth grinding.

Teeth can suffer from chips an excessive wear leaving the mouth sensitive and vulnerable to further damage. Over time, some patients develop recurring pain in the jaw from the ongoing pressure associated with teeth grinding. Teeth can eventually crack, as well.  The biting surfaces of the teeth may take on a flattened appearance as opposed to the natural sharper surface purposed towards chewing food.

Damage can be painful and expensive.  Warning signs should be taken into account in order to catch the problem early. Preventative measures can be taken to reduce the amount of damage and increase comfort. If the condition is allowed to persist, damage could lead to decay, receding gums, and TMJ.  TMJ is a disorder of the joint in the jaw causing difficulty with opening the jaw and pain.

Take notice if you wake to a cheek that feels damaged or chewed on the inside, pain in jaw, or sensitive teeth.  Teeth can also become loose with repeated exposure to grinding.  If your partner tells you how much noise you make when you sleep, don’t ignore it.  It is pertinent that you get to a dentist to diagnose and prevent problems.

Dental work may be necessary to correct the problem and some vitamin deficiencies may contribute to the issue.  Calcium and magnesium may need to be supplemented.  The most common preventative measure, however is the use of a mouth guard to keep the teeth separated.  Custom mouth guards can be made by your dentist.  For a quick fix, they can also be purchased over the counter.  These will not be as perfect a mold for your mouth, but will provide relief immediately.

Other healthy changes that may contribute to a cease in grinding include lowering stress and caffeine intake.  Seeing a dentist as soon as you suspect teeth grinding is your best line of defense.  Teeth, gums and the jaw can suffer without proper treatment.

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