Do you suspect that you grind your teeth at night? If so, you’re not alone – it’s estimated that about 10% of adults experience nighttime bruxism (another name for grinding). Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to control what happens while you sleep, but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect your teeth from the negative impact of grinding! There are multiple ways a dentist in North Naples can help you minimize the effects of this common behavior. In this blog, you’ll learn about the causes of grinding, how it can impact your teeth and how you can stop the habit altogether!
Why Do Some People Grind Their Teeth?
Unsurprisingly, one of the most common causes of grinding is stress. Since there’s no shortage of stress in modern life, it’s no wonder that so many people grind their teeth at night! Some people even grind during the daytime hours without being consciously aware of it.
And while stress is usually a factor, it isn’t always the culprit. Grinding can also be due to sleep apnea, a misaligned jaw, too much caffeine or heredity.
What Are the Consequences of Grinding?
Here are some of the potential side effects you might notice from grinding your teeth:
- Headaches or jaw pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Trauma to the soft tissues of the cheeks
- Clicking or popping of the jaw joint (TMJ)
- You might have damage to your teeth such as fractures, chips or a flattening of the chewing surface
How Can You Prevent Grinding and Its Negative Effects?
Although grinding can have serious side effects, the good news is that there are several solutions:
- A dentist may recommend a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder that needs to be addressed.
- A mouth guard will protect your teeth from powerful grinding forces. If other methods don’t work to stop the grinding itself, a mouth guard at least prevent fractures and chips.
- In some cases, a dentist can make adjustments to your bite that prevent you from grinding altogether.
- When stress is a factor, relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can make a big difference.
If you grind your teeth, talk to a dentist about which solution will work best for you. They’ll evaluate your individual needs and make any recommendations necessary so you can enjoy great oral health for many years.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Makram is a general, restorative and cosmetic dentist in North Naples who has seen firsthand how grinding can damage his patient’s teeth. In addition to providing multiple treatment options, he also educates his patients about how to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at (239) 513-9990.