Grinding your teeth can have long-lasting effects on your smile. Whether you’re a night grinder or a daytime clencher, bruxism is a serious oral health issue that may result in the following:
6. Structural Issues With Your Teeth
As teeth become loosened from grinding your smile will develop open pockets that are susceptible to bacteria. When this bacteria is allowed to grow in such large spaces it can attack the supporting bone and destroy the basic structure of your teeth. This damage might be irreversible which is yet another reason why bruxism cannot go untreated.
7. Cracked or Broken Teeth
Grinding your teeth can actually fracture your tooth. As your teeth begin to wear down they become more susceptible to trauma. Your teeth are used to the motions of chewing, but they were not made for grinding and therefore bruxism may begin to crack your once perfect smile. Missing teeth and gaps don’t have to be a result of your teeth grinding, but only if you seek professional care.
8. Damage to Your Jaw
Your jaw can ache from clenching, and that pain is telling you that you’re causing damage to your jaw. Your jaw may become tight as it’s exhausted from that constant trauma. You may not be able to even open or close your mouth fully. Experiencing lockjaw can negatively affect your life in a variety of ways such as being able to properly chew your food and perform basic dental care.
While you grind your teeth your mouth may experience a series of spasms in the muscles, which can result in painful headaches. That pain can even travel to your neck and throughout your upper back. Earaches may even occur even though the problem originates in your mouth. Grinding your teeth is an unconscious act, but you will definitely be conscious of the resulting pain.
10. Worn Out Tooth Enamel
Grinding wears away healthy enamel. Your teeth were not made to withstand that kind of constant friction. The more your enamel begins to break down your teeth will become more fragile to the point where the ends begin to chip off. The underlayer of dentine may become exposed which will, in turn, make it more difficult for you to eat, care for your teeth, and may result in regular pain. At the end of the day, healthy enamel is there to protect your teeth and you can experience a world of pain without it.
If you suffer from teeth grinding, talk to your dentist as soon as possible. Our office can offer you support and fit nighttime grinders for mouth guards that will help to protect your precious smiles. For more information on the long-lasting effects of teeth grinding refer to Results of Grinding Your Teeth: Part 1.