Do You Grind Your Teeth?

peddicordbruxismDo you grind your teeth? If so, then you may be unaware just how dangerous this irritating and often uncomfortable habit can be. In fact, routine teeth grinding can quickly damage teeth and expose them to harmful bacteria. Fortunately, there are relative simple treatment options designed to help patients who routinely grind or clench their teeth.

Teeth Grinding Quiz

  1. True or False: Bruxism can damage your teeth.
  2. True or False: You may only grind your teeth at night.
  3. True or False: There’s a link between bruxism and TMJ disorder.
  4. True or False: A dental guard can address teeth grinding.

Answer Key

  1. True. Teeth grinding places a lot of pressure on the teeth. Eventually they can crack or chip. The enamel may also become worn down. Once the tooth enamel becomes damaged or worn away the body has no means to repair it. Bacteria then reach the inner structure, causing a cavity to form.
  2. True. Many people only have episodes of bruxism at night, while sleeping. However, there are symptoms to watch for during waking hours. You should watch for any soreness in your jaw or persistent toothaches or sensitive teeth. Other possible symptoms include headaches and earaches. If you experience one or more of these warning signs then we urge you to see a dentist right away for a diagnosis.
  3. True. Bruxism can place a lot of pressure on the jaw joints, leading to the onset of TMJ disorder. With TMJ disorder, opening and closing the mouth fully can become difficult.
  4. True. An oral splint, or dental guard, looks similar to a nightguard. Patients wear them at night, where they provide a barrier so the upper and lower teeth no longer touch. This helps prevent further damage as a result of bruxism.