Many people admit to grinding their teeth both consciously and/or subconsciously. Teeth grinding can be the result of anger, anxiety, or nervousness. Some people even grind their teeth in their sleep. Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons why this is a bad habit to have.
The teeth are the first victims of teeth grinding. Obvious signs are teeth breaking or chipping. Later the enamel will weaken, which causes the teeth to become vulnerable and sensitive. This will not only lead to pain in the teeth, but the poor smile over time will be negative for the overall patient’s mental health and self-confidence.
The temporomandibular joints, which are the lower jaw joints, may become tight and painful. This can lead headaches if teeth grinding becomes frequent. If TMJ is not treated, the patient may eventually have difficulty opening their mouth fully or jaw locking.
Teeth grinding can cause periodontal disease, which is the deterioration of the gums and jaw bone. Once this starts to happen, the structure of the teeth as a whole is affected. This is the most severe effect of teeth grinding.
The good news is that teeth grinding does not require intrusive measures for successful treatment. It may be as simple as changing sleeping positions, not drinking coffee before bed, or not smoking before bed. If that doesn’t work, a mouth guard can be worn to prevent teeth grinding in your sleep.
If you notice yourself grinding during the day, learn what the triggers are. Whether or not you are in the middle of grinding your teeth or you notice a trigger, focus on your breathing and relax your jaw. This will sidetrack you from the desire to grind your teeth.
Grinding teeth is a problem that many people suffer from. It is important to know how to stop or seek proper treatment in order to prevent any negative effects of a long term habit.