Teeth Grinding

What is Bruxism?

Stress or anxiety is generally the cause of bruxism or teeth grinding. Many times it is often viewed as a harmless habit, though perhaps annoying.

You should be cautioned, however. Teeth grinding can transform your entire bite relationship. Worse yet, it can severely damage your teeth and jaws if it continues over a long period of time.

The chewing surfaces of your teeth will eventually suffer from abrasion. This abnormal wear and tear can age and possibly loosen your teeth. Once that happens, it will also expose them to problems such as hypersensitivity, which is caused by the small cracks that form and expose your dentin. The other downside of bruxism is that it can create chronic jaw and facial pain, not to mention headaches.

If you’ve never been told you grind your teeth, these are a few clues that you may.

  • Your jaw is sore, or you hear popping sounds as you open or close your mouth.
  • Your teeth will look abnormally short or worn down.
  • You might notice small dents in your tongue.

Bruxism is treatable. There’s a special appliance that you can wear at night while you are sleeping. Less intrusive and just as effective is biofeedback and behavior modification. This may involve tongue exercises and learning how to properly align your tongue, teeth, and lips