Bruxism, better known as teeth grinding, is one of the most damaging things you can do to your
smile. Although grinding your teeth here and there might not seem like a big deal, the
cumulative effects of this condition can cause serious damage to your oral health.
How exactly does teeth grinding impact your oral health? Here’s why you might want to
consider treatment before this habit inflicts major damage on your smile.
Wears Down Your Enamel
Our teeth aren’t meant to touch each other. The jaw is positioned so that the rows of teeth
remain slightly apart, and the only time they need to come into contact is when chewing food.
When you grind your teeth, the same force that gets put out to grind up food is now being put
on your teeth.
When this happens, your teeth are absorbing a huge amount of pressure. Experts speculate
that the amount of pressure exerted by the jaw during teeth grinding is up to ten times that
which is normally exerted while chewing. As a result, this can wear down your tooth enamel.
Once tooth enamel is gone, it can’t be replaced, leading to sensitive teeth, cavities, and even
Can Fracture or Chip Teeth
Teeth that are being ground against each other have an increased risk of being fractured or
chipped. This is especially true if they are repeatedly exposed to grinding, which can create tiny
fractures in the teeth that can eventually lead to chips and breaks.
A chipped or fractured tooth will need to be evaluated by your dentist as soon as possible, as it
can expose tooth roots and may lead to the need for root canal therapy if an infection ensues.
This will also require dental bonding or another form of treatment to restore your smile. Your
dentist will be able to tell if you grind your teeth and help you seek treatment!
Damages Gum Tissue
Although it might seem like teeth grinding wouldn’t impact your gums, the opposite is true.
Over time, the pressure of grinding your teeth can irritate your gum tissue and cause
inflammation. Your gums may even become irritated to the point that the ligaments that help
hold your teeth into place become threatened.
When gum tissue is damaged in this way, it can cause loose teeth and pockets of infection near
the gumline, therefore mimicking symptoms of gum disease. It’s essential to see your dentist to
uncover the root cause and understand why your teeth and gums are being affected so. Some
people grind their teeth while sleeping and are unaware of it!
Teeth grinding is a terrible habit that can affect your smile for life. Your dentist can not only tell
if you grind your teeth, but help you seek treatment for this condition. From wearing down
your tooth enamel to breaking your teeth to damaging gum tissue, bruxism should not be taken
lightly. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today if you suspect you grind your teeth!