Teeth Grinding: Why Your Smile Needs Protection

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a tricky oral habit. While grinding and clenching your teeth can undoubtedly produce consequences, it is also a habit that patients perform subconsciously. In fact, most teeth grinding occurs during nighttime sleep. If you have a bed partner that complains of your constant teeth grinding, it is time to take action. Not only are you disrupting your partner’s sleep, but bruxism can lead to several setbacks within your oral health.

Did you know that clenching and grinding (bruxism) puts hundreds of pounds of pressure on tooth surfaces? To put this in perspective, a typical chewing force involves about 20 to 40 pounds of pressure on the teeth, but the pressure from grinding can be over 250 pounds! This “forceful” act does not go unscathed, especially when it occurs over the course of your nighttime sleep or on a regular basis.

The Consequences of Bruxism

When it comes to teeth grinding punishments, your teeth and jaw suffer the brunt of it. Your teeth and TMJ (jaw joint) simply aren’t designed to handle that much strain and pressure. In result, you can suffer a wide range of disruptive symptoms, including the following:

  • Worn Down Teeth
  • Damaged Dental Work (fillings, crowns)
  • Ear Pain
  • Jaw Pain or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder)
  • Daily Headaches
  • Gum Recession
  • Loose Teeth

Treating Your Teeth Grinding Habit

Many patients grind their teeth during times of stress. Therefore, stopping the habit can be as simple as finding ways to relax. However, persistent nighttime teeth grinding can often require more targeted treatment. At Smile Design Studio, we offer custom nightguards that can protect your teeth and jaw from teeth grinding. Our nightguards are custom-fit for your comfort and able to effectively absorb the forces of clenching and grinding while you sleep so that your mouth doesn’t suffer the consequences during the day.

If you suspect you that your nighttime sleep includes episodes of bruxism, let our dentists help. We offer a full menu of treatments for TMJ issues and dental damage caused by bruxism.