It’s not uncommon for people to habitually grind & clench their teeth, & most people who do it probably think little or nothing of it. If you find yourself doing this on a regular basis, you may be surprised to learn that you’re actually putting your oral health at greater risk than you might think.
While some of the consequences of grinding—like worn-down teeth—might seem obvious, there can be even more serious complications that spread beyond your enamel. So whether your teeth grinding is due to stress, medication or a sleep condition, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the potential consequences you can avoid if you ask your dentist for help with this issue.
You Might Experience Discomfort & Headaches
You probably know that bruxism (the medical name for teeth grinding) is a major cause of toothaches, but it can make more than just your teeth ache. Your mouth is connected to your face with a network of muscles & joints, which means that constant clenching can create tension that transmits around your head. As a result, you may have more frequent headaches or even migraines that disrupt your daily routine.
You Could Loosen Your Teeth
The wear-&-tear caused by grinding doesn’t stop at the surfaces of your teeth. In fact, a bigger concern is what might be happening to the roots!
When your teeth press & move against each other with great force, there’s a chance that you’ll make one or more of them unstable in the socket. You may not even notice at first, but this can make your teeth shift out of alignment & require orthodontic treatment like braces to correct. Worse yet, a tooth that is sufficiently loosened by grinding could fall out, which is never an enjoyable experience.
Your Risk of Gum Disease Is Higher
Loose teeth that wiggle around from grinding & clenching can also form pockets between your teeth & gums. As you’ve likely heard before, nature abhors a vacuum, & the space around your gum line is no exception. Oral bacteria loves to make this area its new home, leading to inflammation, gum recession & even tooth loss.
Thankfully all of these problems can be avoided by consulting a dental professional. With simple changes to your personal care or the help of a night guard to prevent teeth grinding during sleep, you can rest assured that your dental health is taken care of.