teeth grinding

Teeth Grinding at Night and How It Affects Your Mouth

Teeth grinding is an issue that isn’t often discussed. That’s because many people don’t look at it as an issue that needs attention. Most people grind their teeth at some point in time. Whether you are stressed or excited, it is normal to clench your teeth at times. Problematic teeth grinding occurs when you clench your teeth at night. When teeth grinding at night becomes consistent, it can result in damage to your teeth. Let’s explore the signs that you may need to have your teeth grinding addressed.

Teeth Grinding Effects

Teeth grinding at night is also referred to as bruxing. There are many harmful effects of bruxing. The immediate effects include jaw pain and unexplained headaches. But, over time, chronic grinding can lead to more bothersome problems. These include:

  • Tooth fractures
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Damage to fillings and crowns
  • Worn down teeth
  • Bone loss in the jaw

The most frustrating part of teeth grinding is that it’s sometimes hard to identify as a problem, especially if you sleep alone. Most patients go for long periods of time without identifying the issue. It is often not brought to light until it becomes a more serious problem.

If you wake up with headaches or an aching jaw, you might want to talk to your doctor about the possibility that you grind your teeth at night. Worn down teeth or inflamed gums are an easily identifiable sign that you may be grinding your teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment for Bruxing

The good news for those who grind their teeth is that there is orthodontic treatment available. The most common cause of teeth grinding is malocclusion. This is an orthodontic issue that causes misaligned teeth and jaw. Malocclusion is a common orthodontic issue that is seen regularly in most offices.

The treatment for malocclusion involves adjusting the bite so the teeth and jaw fit into the optimal position. Since you relax while you are sleeping, malocclusion creates extra stress on the jaw as your mouth tries to find a balance to settle into the right place.

If you are negatively impacted by teeth grinding, you can easily have the issue resolved before it causes serious problems for your mouth. Talk to your orthodontist if you display the common signs that you may be grinding your teeth.