Top 5 Side-Effects of Teeth Grinding

The dental term used to describe teeth grinding and clenching is “bruxism.”  This is a condition that many  patients suffer from, and can be caused by stress. You may even be doing it at night in your sleep and aren’t aware of it, or it could be a daytime habit that you’re trying to break.

Bruxism has many side effects that can damage your smile and existing dental work.  Coming in for regular checkups will help the professionals at Studfield Dental Group in Wantirna stay informed of any signs of bruxism so that you can intervene straightaway.

Some common side effects include:

  1. Worn Teeth

If left untreated, your teeth will start to show the effects of grinding.  If your teeth look shorter than they once were, you may be clenching and not even know it.  Flat or very sharp and jagged teeth are common signs.  If this continues, the nerve inside your teeth can become exposed, causing severe pain.

  1. Sensitive Teeth

As your teeth wear down from grinding, you will begin to experience cold sensitivity.  The outer layer of the tooth is called enamel.  Once this surface is gone, the inner layer, or dentin, is exposed.  Dentin is not meant to withstand different temperatures and can be extremely cold-sensitive. 

  1. Headaches

Teeth grinding can trigger headaches and pain due to the constant pressure and stress on your teeth. Morning headaches are very common in people who clench and grind at night. However, this can occur at any time during the day.        

  1. Jaw Pain

Your jaw muscles aren’t designed for constant clenching. Bruxism can lead to jaw pain and stiffness. The jaw joint (TMJ,) which is beside the ear, can be painful when touched or during movement.

  1. Earache

Bruxism can even extend its reach to your ears. Grinding and clenching can lead to earaches and discomfort. Since the jaw joint is so close to the ear, an earache is also very common.

 

Treatment Options for Teeth Grinding

Here’s a list of treatment options that can help you nip this habit in the bud and preserve your oral health.

  • Mouthguards
    Consider a mouthguard to minimise the impact of grinding during sleep. They are custom-fitted to provide a protective barrier giving your teeth a peaceful night’s sleep.
  • Stress Management
    Since stress is a common trigger, finding healthy ways to manage stress can be a game changer. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, a nightly stroll or anything that helps you unwind.
  • Medication
    In some cases, muscle relaxants or medications that address underlying issues contributing to bruxism may be prescribed.
  • Dental Splints
    Dental splints are similar to night guards. These removable devices create a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. This prevents the wear and tear that comes with grinding.
  • Regular Dental Checkups
    Regular dental checkups are preventative maintenance. Our professional dentists can monitor the impact of Bruxism, and offer guidance on treatment options.

Studfield Dental Group in Wantirna is open on Saturdays for your convenience.  Give us a call today before you start experiencing irreversible damage caused by bruxism.