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At one time or another, most people will grind their teeth. Medically this is called bruxism.

Involuntary clenching and/or grinding of the teeth are the two main characteristics of this condition which can occur during the day or night.

Occasional teeth grinding usually does not cause harm to the teeth, however when grinding occurs frequently it can cause damage to teeth and other oral health issues can arise.

Millions of adults and children are affected by this condition.

 

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

While the exact cause is unknown, but many experts believe that bruxism can occur as a response to increased psychological stress, alcohol consumption and certain medications.

Generally, grinding of the teeth happens when you are asleep, and can also be the result of missing or crooked teeth or an abnormal bite.

Most people are unaware they grind their teeth, however a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is the biggest tell-tale sign that they might be suffering from this condition.

However most people learn about their night-time teeth grinding from a loved one who hears it.

 

Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

Chronic teeth grinding can lead to fracturing, loosening or even loss of teeth due to wearing the teeth down to stumps. When this occurs bridges, crowns, root canals and implants may be required.

Severe teeth grinding can not only damage your teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaw resulting in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ and even change the appearance of your face.

 

Treatment

There is no single cure for bruxism, although a variety of helpful devices and tools are available including;

-       Behaviour modification (stress management and relaxation therapy)

-       Mechanical devices (including mouthguards and occlusal splints to protect the teeth from further damage) or;

-       Hypnosis

 

Reasons Why Treatment is Important

Bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum recession and tooth loss.

Firstly because it damages the soft tissue directly, and secondly because it leads to loose teeth and deep pockets where bacteria can colonize and destroy the supporting bone.

When bruxing is under control, there are a variety of dental procedures such as crowns, gum grafts and crown lengthening that can restore a pleasant aesthetic appearance to your smile.

Only a trained professional can tell the difference between bruxing wear and wear caused by overly aggressive brushing, acidic soft drinks and abrasive foods.

If you believe that you may be suffering from bruxism, contact Wisdom Dental Emergency today. They can assist you with any questions you may have about your night-time teeth grinding or overall oral health.

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