Teeth Grinding Damage Has your spouse ever mentioned to you that you grind your teeth every night?Do you find yourself clenching your jaw when concentrating deeply on something?Have you noticed your teeth starting to appear “shorter” over the years?If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should know that this behavior can be damaging to your teeth.Excessive teeth grinding and/or jaw clenching is called bruxism, which is a common behavior that can affect up to 31% of the adult population. But even though it’s fairly common in both adults and children, this condition can cause a lot of problems.In the following article, I’ll explain to you what exactly bruxism is, what it does, and give you a series of simple steps that you can do to avoid it and manage this unpleasant condition.In the following article, we take a closer look at what happens when people grind their teeth, and how to manage this condition. What are the Side Effects Of Teeth Grinding Damge (Bruxism)?Here’s the deal, we all grind our teeth from time to time. That’s one of our natural responses to stress. In fact, people grind their teeth so often when they’re angry that writers use the action to describe someone who is angry.But sometimes people gnash their teeth or clench their jaws too often. And the thing is, most people aren’t even aware they’re doing it. Some clench their jaw when they’re sleeping, while others grind their teeth when they’re concentrating or stressed.However, excessive jaw clenching and teeth gnashing can cause problems like:1. Facial PainClenching your jaw throughout the night will leave your muscles exhausted. This can lead to a painful sensation spread across your face.2. HeadachesJust like every other part of our bodies, our heads are covered by layers of muscles. When we grind our teeth for a long time, these muscles get tensed. And the worst part is, we feel this tension as a headache. Tension-type headaches can last everywhere from minutes to weeks, and one of the easiest ways of treating them is managing our bruxism.3. Stiff JawThose who clench their jaw at night often wake up with a stiff jaw. While this might not seem like a problem, it can lead to a serious condition called temporomandibular disorder if left untreated.4. Ear PainSurprisingly, a painful jaw is the most common reason for ear pain. And you can probably guess the most common reason for a painful jaw by now, can’t you?5. Disrupted SleepTeeth grinding can be very noisy. In fact, some people grind their teeth so loudly that they keep their significant others awake at night. Even if you don’t realize it, clenching your jaw or gnashing your teeth can disturb your sleep, so you don’t feel well-rested the following day.6. Worn-Down and Cracked TeethBruxism can wear down your teeth. The excessive clenching and grinding of your teeth slowly harm and eventually destroy the teeth’s enamel. The enamel is a highly mineralized layer that protects our teeth from degradation. Unfortunately, this layer is thin, and grinding our teeth can damage it.Once the enamel is damaged, out teeth will be more sensitive and more susceptible to harmful agents. Bruxism can eventually crack our teeth, often causing hairline fractures or even longitudinal fractures. People can grind their teeth to stumps if they don’t manage the condition.7. Broken FillingsClenching your jaw can not only break your teeth, but it can also break any molar filling, implant, or replacement crowns you might have. This can lead to an increased expenditure over time.8. Abscesses TeethBruxism can wear down the enamel and expose the inner structures of the teeth to bacterial infection. When the bacteria start to multiply in the teeth’s roots, our bodies try to manage the infection by creating an abscess. Initially, the affected teeth are sensitive to pressure, chewing, heat, and biting.Then, we may develop a fever, and the teeth might swell, becoming tender. For those who engage in bruxism swollen lymph nodes might appear in their necks or jaws. Unfortunately, once the abscess has appeared, the condition cannot be managed but it can be treated. Teeth Grinding Damage Repair Treatment And ManagementTreatmentBruxism is a condition that cannot be treated unless we’re willing to treat its underlying cause. Given that the condition is closely linked to psychological factors, most researchers agree it should be treated through psychological interventions.Some scientists recommend the cognitive behavioral therapy as the go-to method of getting rid of bruxism. Others say that relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can also help. All of these methods could be helpful because they have the potential to reduce the stress and anxiety that lead to the onset of the condition.However, there is no widely-accepted treatment for bruxism.ManagementEven though bruxism doesn’t have a widely-accepted treatment, most dentists can help you manage it with ease. First of all, you will need to treat the damaged teeth. Some people might need dental restorations such as replacement crowns or fillings, etc. If the damage was extensive, your dentist might recommend dental implants.But the bruxism management involves more than just the treatment of damaged teeth. It also involves measures that can prevent or limit further damage.Let’s see how we can manage bruxism: Dental Check-Ups Bruxism can be caused by misaligned, cracked, or missing teeth. By consulting a dentist and checking up your teeth regularly, you can treat the underlying reasons of the condition. Medication Sometimes, your physician might recommend taking a muscle relaxant before sleeping. If the teeth grinding appeared after starting a treatment with antidepressant medication, your physician might recommend changing your medication. Cut Off Healthy Habits Alcohol can cause involuntary teeth grinding while we’re asleep. Bruxism is also associated with nicotine dependence, and it’s recommended to give up smoking to prevent it. Recreational drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy can also lead to bruxism, so it’s better to avoid them. Mouth Guards Mouth guards are the ideal solution for those who grind their teeth in their sleep. These guards are similar to those used in sports like football or boxing, and they can be made out of rubber or plastic. You can buy a mouth guard from a local pharmacy, but you might be better off having your dentist make you a custom made one. Unlike the generic guards, the custom-made ones will fit your teeth perfectly, and they will be more comfortable at night.Mouth guards reduce the pressure in your jaw and they protect your teeth from damage. You might still move your teeth while you sleep, but you will limit both the damage and the sound you produce. Teeth Grinding Damage Before And AfterTeeth grinding might seem like a harmless activity, but it can lead to significant problems. Finding the right treatment and management plan will help you keep your teeth healthy, and it will prevent other related problems.As is often the case, a simple solution like a mouth guard can do wonders for those who clench their jaws by preventing teeth grinding damage.