If you’ve learned that your teeth are the strongest parts of your body, you might be confused as to how harmlessly clenching them together can damage them. The truth, though, is that there’s nothing harmless about grinding your teeth, especially if you do it habitually or without even realizing it. Despite the incredible strength of your tooth structure and the enamel that surrounds it, there’s a limit to what your teeth can take. Over time, the constant friction and pressure that occurs when you grind your teeth can lead to excessive tooth wear, cracks, fractures, sensitivity, and an increased risk of decay, among other hazards.
The Phenomenon of Bruxism
- Experts agree that there is no single, particular cause for chronic teeth-grinding, or bruxism; rather, it’s usually the result of a culmination of factors, like stress and anxiety, or a host of possible dental issues.
- Even if you catch yourself doing it sometimes throughout the day, most bruxers do most of their grinding at night, while they’re asleep and unable to stop themselves. The best way to tell if you grind your teeth at night is through a thorough dental examination to spot any telltale signs (like specific types of tooth wear).
- If you grind your teeth because you’re stressed, then taking measures to relax could help alleviate the symptoms, and a mouthguard could protect your teeth from each other while you sleep.
- If you grind your teeth because your jaw is uneven or uncomfortable, then you might need an appropriate dental treatment to restore the harmony to your bite. In some cases, bruxism can be a symptom of TMJ disorder—a jaw dysfunction that affects your jaw’s joints, and can cause the muscles around them to spasm.
ABOUT YOUR MANSFIELD DENTISTS:
Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates rely upon their years of experience, training, and cutting-edge technology to offer patients expert dental care at each and every visit. They listen to each patient’s concerns and offer gentle, informative guidance about future treatments. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call (817) 473-6227. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris proudly treat patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian and neighboring areas.