How Teeth Grinding At Night Causes Dental Issues

About 10% of adults grind their teeth at night. And in some people who grind moderately, this doesn’t cause any negative effects or symptoms. But severe, prolonged teeth grinding can contribute to a wide variety of dental health issues.

In this blog from St. Clair Tooth Co., we’ll discuss a few common signs that you may be grinding your teeth at night, and we’ll also discuss the dental issues that can be caused by uncontrolled teeth grinding. 

Signs Of Nighttime Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) 

Often, your sleeping partner may be the first to notice that you’re grinding your teeth at night, since grinding can be quite loud and disturb their sleep.

You may also wake up with a headache, or your teeth may feel sensitive and tender, particularly when you chew hard foods or consume hot and cold foods and drinks. 

Other common signs of bruxism include teeth that look abnormally flat or worn down, tired or tight jaw muscles, headaches, and earaches. You may also suffer from low-quality sleep or have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

What Dental Issues Can Be Caused By Teeth Grinding? 

  • Enamel wear & damage – Your teeth are not meant to be clenched and ground together unless you’re chewing food. Prolonged grinding puts a lot of strain on the enamel. Over time, the teeth may wear down, become flat, or even become cracked and damaged due to bruxism.

  • Higher risk of tooth decay and infection – When your enamel becomes worn down due to teeth grinding, you may have a higher risk of cavities and tooth infections. Thin, weak enamel is more prone to being damaged by oral bacteria and acid.

  • Sore & strained tooth ligaments – Grinding doesn’t just stress your teeth, but also the underlying ligaments that attach the teeth to the gums. Your teeth, particularly your rear teeth, may feel sore, tender, and achy due to teeth grinding.

  • Overused and stressed jaw muscles & joints – Clenching and grinding your teeth can put strain on your jaw muscles and joints, particularly if you don’t have a healthy bite. In the long term, this can lead to issues like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD), a painful condition that occurs when the joints connecting your jaw to your skull become damaged or inflamed. 

Protect Your Teeth – Contact St. Clair Tooth Co. For A Custom Night Guard 

At St. Clair Tooth Co., Dr. Cassleman specializes in custom-fitted, comfortable night guards. Night guards are made of durable, flexible plastic and prevent the upper and lower teeth from contacting each other directly at night.

With a night guard, you can prevent premature tooth damage, reduce strain on your tooth ligaments, and eliminate stress on your jaw muscles and joints. So don’t wait. If you think you grind your teeth, get help right away. Contact us online or give St. Clair Tooth Co. a call at (586) 404-4911 to schedule an appointment. 

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