Your teeth are designed to chew, bite, and endure wear and tear without issue. But habits like grinding and clenching your teeth, a behavior known as bruxism, will generate high pressures that could cause many types of dental problems over time.
Your dentist can assist you in stopping this habit. But you can feel more encouraged to contact your dentist’s office about this issue when you know what consequences you may face without dental treatment. Read on to learn about three dental problems that can occur if you continue to grind and clench your teeth.
3 Reasons to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
Prevent Tooth Breakage
Your strong teeth grind food items regularly, but they are not indestructible. The grating of the top teeth against the bottom teeth involves hard textures that will wear down the outer layer of your teeth, enamel. This can leave the vulnerable and sensitive dentin layer exposed and at risk of contracting dental problems.
Once gone, your enamel will not regrow, so you will require restorative dental work to replace lost enamel and restore your oral health. You could also suffer a dental injury if you continue to clench or grind your teeth. A chip or crack in a tooth will disrupt the look of your smile, but it also marks a weak spot in your enamel where bacteria could cause more harm to your dental structure.
You can lower your risk of this dental injury and enamel erosion by stopping bruxism. Your dentist can pinpoint the cause of your teeth-grinding habit and provide appropriate treatment when you schedule a consultation.
Protect Prior Dental Work
Chronic bruxism will not only wear down the natural structure of your teeth. It can also damage your existing dental work, such as crowns, veneers, and fillings.
If a dental fixture cracks or becomes loose, the seal protecting the underlying tooth will break. This puts the tooth’s health at risk, which dentists consider a dental emergency. You will need urgent repair or replacement of the dental fixture, which costs you time and money.
You can avoid this situation by seeking treatment for bruxism before the habit hurts your dental work and your smile. Get the most out of your dental treatment by stopping oral behaviors that will hinder its oral health benefits.
Stop Jaw Pain
The pressure from grinding and clenching teeth will extend further than just your teeth. Bruxism creates strain on the jaw as well, which will build tension in the muscles and tendons that can leave your jaw feeling sore. Over time, this may worsen into temporomandibular joint disorders, also known as TMJ.
TMJ can cause jaw pain that will also radiate to feeling headaches and earaches. You may also notice a clicking sound when moving the jaw and a reduced function in the jaw with TMJ. This disorder requires treatment from a dentist to resolve.
Find relief from jaw pain and TMJ by treating your teeth-grinding habit with help from your dentist. You can prevent further oral health complications by stopping this behavior too.