Do you grind your teeth while you sleep? Many people grind their teeth at night and do not even realize it. Tooth grinding is a subconscious occurrence caused by many things, such as stress or illness. This condition can cause uncomfortable symptoms, and it can damage the teeth over time. In most cases, occasional teeth grinding is not an issue, but those who grind their teeth regularly could end up with serious problems. Let’s go over how grinding your teeth can affect your overall oral health.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding can happen for many reasons. It is most commonly related to high stress or anxiety, but those with abnormal bites, crooked or missing teeth, or a sleep disorder could also be impacted. Additionally, some medications and lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes, can also cause teeth grinding.
How Teeth Grinding Affects Your Smile
Over time, grinding your teeth can loosen them, weaken the enamel, and even cause your teeth to fracture. As a result, your teeth will become more vulnerable to decay and infection and more sensitive. On the other hand, a fractured tooth can cause severe symptoms that require immediate treatment from your dentist. Continuing to grind your teeth can worsen the damage.
In addition, grinding can also lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as jaw pain, stiffness, earaches, and headaches that may impact your daily life.
How to Treat Teeth Grinding
Fortunately, there is effective treatment out there for people who grind their teeth. To stop the grinding from causing more damage or pain, your dentist may suggest getting a plastic mouth guard to put over your teeth while you sleep. You can find them at your local pharmacy, online, or in some grocery stores. This mouth guard will fit over your teeth and protect them from damage. You can also reduce teeth grinding by making some lifestyle changes, such as:
- Ice your jaw muscles to alleviate pain.
- Avoid eating hard foods.
- Cut back on caffeinated foods and beverages that can cause teeth grinding.
- Relax your facial muscles every day.
- Reduce alcohol intake, which can cause you to grind your teeth more.
- Learn coping techniques to reduce your stress. Pinpoint what is triggering you to grind your teeth and make changes to help break the habit.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH HAPPY WITH ANNAPOLIS DENTAL CARE!
Whether it’s a regular check-up you need or a tooth extracted, your dentist in Annapolis is here to serve! Annapolis Dental Care has the expertise and compassion to work with you on improving your oral health. Your comfort and health are our top priorities, and so we go above and beyond to make our patients happy and give them the highest quality care. To set up an appointment today, please give us a call at 410-571-5014 or visit us online. For more oral health tips for you and your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! We are always looking for new patients, so if you live in Arnold, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, MD, come on down!