Do you have teeth grinding problems? You may or may not be aware of having this problem, as teeth grinding can be done unconsciously while you sleep; in this case, a partner or loved one may be the best person to ask if you indeed grind your teeth. After determining that you grind your teeth – either consciously or unconsciously – the next question is, are you aware that what seems to be a simple and uncomplicated habit can have serious effects on your smile, and your overall oral health?
When you grind your teeth together, you are subjecting your teeth and gums to additional and unwanted force, which can have dire consequences in the long run. If you grind your teeth unconsciously at night, you may wake up having a headache or jaw pain, especially if you have been clenching your teeth for the better part of the night. The jawbone joint can be damaged with long-term teeth grinding, causing the development of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Your teeth will also show the effects of a teeth grinding problem. Premature teeth erosion can result from habitual teeth grinding, which can cause the tooth enamel to become thinner. Prematurely worn teeth can expose the sensitive inner teeth tissue, and this can cause a great deal uncomfortable tooth sensitivity. Gum recession is another effect of grinding the teeth on a regular basis; sensitivity and decay can be the result if more of the tooth structure (including the root) is exposed when the gums recede. The teeth can also become loose when they are always exposed to the strong forces of teeth clenching.