Regularly grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw – known as bruxism – can cause a number of more serious oral health conditions that may put your teeth, smile and jaw health at risk.
In some cases, bruxism can be caused by certain behaviours that increase your likelihood of clenching and grinding your teeth. These can include:
- Alcohol use
- Certain drugs or medications
- A misaligned bite
- Jaw disorders
In other cases, the cause of bruxism may not be known.
While many of us occasionally clench or grind our teeth when we’re stressed, for other people this habit is persistent and ongoing.
You may not even realise you’re engaging in this behaviour until someone notices and informs you. In many cases, grinding and clenching occur overnight.
Some indicators that you may be grinding your teeth include teeth sensitivity, a headache upon waking, and prematurely worn teeth.
A long-term clenching and grinding habit – particularly overnight – can result in a number of oral and general health conditions with long-term consequences:
- Broken, worn or chipped teeth
- Jaw pain and joint degeneration (TMJD)
- Headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to cold foods or beverages
- Mood disorders
- Facial inflammation
- Infection due to repeated trauma
- Bony growths beneath the tongue, called tori
A severe bruxism habit can negatively affect your day-to-day life. While some at-home practices, such as stress management and lifestyle choices, can improve symptoms, seeking advice from a qualified dental clinician can reduce or eliminate the consequences of teeth grinding.
At CBD Dental, our expert dentists are experienced in treating bruxism, so you can break free of this habit and move forward with your life.