Teeth grinding can have negative affects on your overall health, as well as your partners health. Here’s what you can do about it.
The big question is: Do you grind your teeth? The big answer is: You may not even know you do this unless your spouse or significant other has heard you while you’re sleeping. And, if you do know that you grind your teeth, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal?” But, what you should really be asking yourself is, “What can I do to stop this?”
What’s the big deal if I grind my teeth?
For some, teeth grinding may not be an issue. It may be something you do occasionally, and it has no negative effects on your health. But, when bruxism (the technical name for teeth grinding) is chronic, you may experience the following things:
- Worn, cracked, or damaged tooth enamel
- Headaches, earaches, and/or facial pain
- Stiffness or pain in your jaw
- Broken teeth or dental work
- Sore muscles in the jaw
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth loss
- Disrupted sleep (for you or your significant other)
What can I do to stop from grinding my teeth?
Teeth grinding may be caused by stress and anxiety, medications, sleep disorders or lifestyle factors (i.e. smoking or alcohol.) If you can pinpoint the cause, you may be able to alleviate or eliminate your teeth grinding by:
- Reducing stress
- Changing medications (if possible)
- Implementing lifestyle changes
- Practicing jaw relaxation techniques
If these things don’t seem to help, you should discuss other measures with your dentist. He/she may recommend an “occlusal appliance” – commonly referred to as a bite guard or night guard – to wear while you sleep.
If you have been told – or even suspect – that you grind your teeth, schedule a consultation with us. We can come up with an appropriate course of treatment so that you can avoid permanent damage to your teeth.