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Don’t grind your teeth away!

Teeth grinding also known as bruxism is pretty common. Most people are said to have probably grind and clench their teeth at one point or another. Occasionally grinding teeth does not usually cause harm, but it is when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis. Grinding of the teeth not only damages your teeth, but can cause oral complications to arise.

shutterstock_96524254 TMJWhy does bruxism occur?

Teeth grinding often occurs when one is asleep, it is common for grinding to be caused by stress and anxiety. However, it is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

 

How do I find out if I grind my teeth?

Due to the occurrence of teeth grinding when asleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. Some signs of teeth grinding is a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up. If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.

Why is it harmful?

There are cases that chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic teeth grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures. Bruxism can also affect your jaw, which would result in hearing loss, cause TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

coffeeWhat can I do to stop grinding my teeth?

One way to stop teeth grinding is wearing a mouth guard. Your dentist can custom fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding while you are asleep. It your reason of bruxism is stress, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress.

chair massageAlso Avoiding or cutting back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as soda, chocolate, and coffee. Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. This trains your jaw to not clench. Avoid drinking excess alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.

–Kim Bui

For more information on a result of bruxism, TMJ, check out Dr. Burleson’s latest article on our website at http://www.burlesonortho.com/articles/TMJ.pdf and via eZineArticles and ShareCare.

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