Grinding Teeth: The Nitty Gritty

Grinding Teeth

First off, happy Dentist’s Day! The office and patients of Jordan Dentistry are so thankful for the talent and expertise of Dr. Jordan. But a dentist’s work is never done, so for this day we would like to offer some insight into an issue some of patients suffer from. Grinding teeth; it seems like such a trivial aspect of dental care, but the truth is it can be detrimental to teeth.

What causes teeth grinding?

  • Stress and anxiety is one factor in why people grind their teeth. It can also simply be caused by sleep. If you have an abnormal bite or crooked teeth, there is a possibility that you grind your teeth in your sleep.

What damage does it do?

  • If grinding teeth persists, it can lead to a number of dental issues. If left without care, it can lead to loose and cracked teeth. It can also wear your teeth down to stumps over time.
  • It can also lead to TMJ, and eventually change the appearance of your face.

How do I know? 

  • Because teeth grinding often occurs while you sleep, it can be difficult to tell. If you are constantly waking up with a sore jaw, or if you always have a dull headache, you might grind your teeth.

How do I stop?

  • Avoid a lot of caffeine. This is especially important if the teeth grinding is brought on by stress. Caffeine can intensify anxiety, and make the issue worse.
  • Be conscious of clenching your teeth. Training yourself not to clench your teeth while you are awake, can help the issue while you are asleep.
  • Make an appointment with your dentist if you suspect you are grinding your teeth. He/she can fit you with a comfortable mouth guard to sleep with. This will prevent your teeth from coming in contact with one another, and will protect your teeth!

Photo Credit: Flickr 2.0 CC via Brandon Heyer

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