What are the Negative Effects of Teeth Grinding?

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What are the Negative Effects of Teeth Grinding?

Bruxism – commonly referred to as teeth grinding – is usually caused by stress, anxiety, sleep apnea, or a misaligned bite. Many people don’t realize they are grinding their teeth until their significant other tells them or symptoms arise.

If you’re grinding your teeth, you should schedule an appointment with your Smiles 4 Grant Park dentist to see how she can help stop the occurrence of bruxism and the damage it causes. Dr. Abbey Lee will help you determine the cause of your teeth grinding and provide you with the proper tools and advice to prevent further damage.

These are the ways teeth grinding can affect your oral health:

Tooth Damage

When teeth grinding is severe and recurring, it wears down your tooth enamel, which cannot be repaired. This weakens your teeth, making them much more prone to fractures, chips, and cracks than healthy teeth. It also increases your chances of decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.

If you have tooth damage because of bruxism, Dr. Lee offers restorative dentistry services, such as:

  • dental crowns
  • tooth-colored fillings
  • inlays or onlays
  • root canal therapy
  • tooth extractions

TMJ Disorder

Bruxism causes an enormous amount of pressure to be placed on your jaw. When the pressure is frequent, the joints can become inflamed and irritated, resulting in Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. This pain makes talking, laughing, and eating extremely painful. Eventually, jaw misalignment may occur if your TMJ goes untreated.

Symptoms include:

  • earaches
  • headaches
  • clicking in the jaw
  • jaw pain
  • back and shoulder pain
  • neck stiffness
  • dizziness

Dr. Lee uses the latest technology to identify the cause of your bruxism and assess the damage that has been done. Based on her examination, she will offer the appropriate treatment to help alleviate your pain. These treatments include:  

  • Mouthguards
  • Dental Orthotics
  • Full Mouth Reconstruction
  • TENS Therapy
  • Oral Athletic Guard
  • Orthodontics

Other Complications

If you suffer from teeth grinding, most dentists won’t give you the option of dental implants for fear that the implant would be pushed too far into the gum line and cause jaw damage.

You could also damage your saliva glands or experience digestive problems.

How to Relieve Bruxism Symptoms

If you have bruxism, Dr. Lee will examine you to determine if it’s due to an underlying cause such as malocclusion. If your teeth grinding is due to an underlying cause, she will suggest a treatment plan to address the issue.

Dr. Lee may also recommend some options to relieve the symptoms of bruxism. Here are some things she may suggest:

  • Use a mouthguard. Dr. Lee can fit you for a mouthguard to protect your teeth from the damage that bruxism causes.
  • Reduce stress. Taking 30 minutes every day to do something you enjoy can decrease stress levels immensely. Find a new hobby, read a book, exercise, or visit with a therapist. Each step towards taking care of yourself physically and emotionally can help relieve bruxism.
  • Avoid caffeine. People with more energy or higher heart rates are more prone to bruxism.
  • Avoid alcohol. Teeth grinding intensifies when alcohol has been consumed.
  • Train your jaw muscles. Practice placing your tongue between your teeth to keep the muscles relaxed throughout the day. 
  • Relax your jaw muscles. Before you go to sleep, wrap a warm towel around your face to reduce the tension in your jaw.

Taking these steps can dramatically decrease the side effects of your bruxism. However, if you are feeling the effects of teeth grinding, you still need to visit with your Grant Park dentist to have your teeth, gums, and jaw assessed for damage.

Find Relief from Teeth Grinding Today

If you are experiencing the symptoms of teeth grinding, don’t hesitate to call our dental office today. Dr. Lee and our team pride ourselves in providing excellent, gentle care to each patient that comes into our office. Contact Smiles 4 Grant Park today at 404-328-7177 to find the relief you need.

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