Although it may seem like a subtle action, the repeated friction caused by teeth grinding can have severe effects on your teeth over time.
Bruxism is a condition where you may subconsciously grind your teeth causing general wear on the surface and long term damage to the teeth.
This can happen when you are awake or asleep and is more prominent during periods of stress or anxiety.
Let your dentist know if you have any sensitivity or jaw discomfort and they will be able to diagnose bruxism if you have the condition.
Why do people grind their teeth?
There are several reasons why someone might grind their teeth, including:
- Stress or anxiety: Teeth grinding can be a natural, unconscious reaction to stress or anxiousness, the same way that biting our nails can be. During times of increase stress and anxiety, teeth grinding can become worse.
- Unconsciously during sleep: Additionally, it can be the result of a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, where the teeth grinding happens through the night.
- Abnormal bite/missing/crooked teeth: The positioning of your teeth and general layout of your teeth can impact the likelihood of teeth grinding.
- Other illnesses and disorders: Many people don’t realise that Bruxism is often closely connected to other illnesses including Parkinson’s disease, dementia, epilepsy and ADHD.
What are the dangers of teeth grinding?
If you are continually grinding your teeth you are essentially weakening the strength of the teeth.
Continued teeth grinding can lead to the damaging, loosening or even loss of teeth.
In most cases, bruxism doesn’t cause serious/irreversible impacts.
But severe grinding can eventually lead to:
- Damage to the teeth and the need for invasive treatment
- Tension-related headaches
- Severe facial and jaw pain
If left untreated, chronic grinding can eventually wear teeth down to stumps.
If this does occur, there are methods of treatment, including:
How do I stop grinding my teeth?
Thankfully, we are here to help you find solutions to target bruxism before the teeth become damage.
If you are struggling with night terrors or grinding during the night, then one solution may be to be fitted with a mouthguard to protect your teeth from grinding.
Although it is hard to target a habit that is happening while you are asleep, this means that at least your teeth will not suffer any further damage.
If teeth-grinding is occurring as a result of stress, then it can be helpful to implement some stress management techniques or take a look at the issues in your life causing you to stress and try to make changes (where possible) accordingly.
If you suffer from bruxism, please get in contact so we can work out the best option to protect your teeth and target your issues moving forward.
Medically reviewed & updated on December 8, 2021