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How Teeth Grinding Can Compromise Dental Health

There are people with a habit of grinding and clenching their teeth. Grinding teeth, medically referred to as bruxism, when done regularly can have serious consequences on one’s oral health. There are those people who only grind teeth occasionally, this is unlikely to lead to oral health complications. There’s this other lot of individuals who grind their teeth often, may be due to stress, anxiety or even while sleeping. Grinding of teeth can be due to bite issues, missed or crooked teeth. If you have a sleep problem like sleep apnea, it can also lead to teeth grinding.

 

How to tell if you grind your teeth

Some people have no idea if they grind their teeth, mainly because it happens at night while they are asleep. But teeth grinding can manifest in form of health issues like persistent headaches and sore jaws whenever you wake up. Your loved one may also comment about the grinding at night because they are usually the first ones to hear it. Discuss this with your dentist Barrie if you suspect that you could be having this habit. Dentists can perform a few physical examinations to check for signs on bruxism on the mouth and jaw. For instance, if the dentist notices excessively worn out teeth or jaw tenderness, he/she may attribute it to the grinding at night.

 

The dangers of teeth grinding

Grinding your teeth is one of those habits you certainly need to stop. This is because it can lead to serious oral health problems like fracturing or loosening of teeth. In severe cases of teeth grinding, you can experience tooth loss. Grinding wears the teeth down meaning that you will have to consider different dental treatments such as bridges, crowns, root canals and implants to restore the form and function of your teeth. Grinding teeth can also cause a serious condition known as TMD/TMJ disorder.

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How to stop teeth grinding

When you visit your dentist, you may have a mouth guard fitted to prevent the teeth from wearing down when you grind them while sleeping. To determine how to stop grinding your teeth, first understand what leads to the habit. For instance, if you find yourself grinding your teeth due to stress or anxiety, speak to a doctor regarding ways to manage such emotional issues. For instance, you may want to consider attending stress counselling, enrolling for an exercise program or seeing a physical therapist.

 

If the grinding is caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, treating it can help to eliminate the habit. There are different forms of treating sleep apnea such as wearing a CPAP mask or other sleep therapy treatments.

 

You may also want to consider making the following lifestyle changes to stop teeth grinding:

 

  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine
  • Avoid chewing on items such as pencils
  • Position the tip of your tongue between your teeth if you notice that you are grinding during the day. This helps your jaw muscles to relax
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