7 Long-Term Consequences of Bruxism

Evidence-based studies have revealed that from around 6% up to nearly 50% of children grind their teeth. The prevalence tends to decline with age. Bruxism is the habit of unconsciously grinding one’s teeth, especially in high-stress level situations or during sleep. Fortunately, there are many night guards for bruxism that can fit well with anyone who suffers from grinding their teeth.

Teeth gritting occurs upon jaw movement when the teeth aren’t moving. Night guards (also called dental guards or mouth guards) provide a protective layer on the teeth. They work by exhibiting a barrier between your teeth. Upon grinding, they can help reduce the pressure and give a cushion to the jaw muscles.

Here are the seven long-term consequences of teeth grinding:

  • Teeth Flattening

Flattened Teeth are the inevitable damage ensuing from constant teeth grinding or clenching. Grinding or clenching can result in teeth wear and tear, muscular soreness, pain, and jaw damage.

This explains why you need to retain periodic visits to your dentist. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should make semi-annual appointments with your dentist for a checkup.

  • Micro-Cracks & Broken Fillings

On average, people experience a loss of 0.3 millimeters of enamel surface every ten years due to natural tooth wear. Tooth enamel – being the hardest substance in the human body – is the outermost covering of your teeth. It strengthens and protects the teeth. The fast loss of tooth enamel can be severe and lead to teeth chipping and cracking.

  • Sensitive Teeth

Teeth grinding, if left unchecked, can eventually progress to the extent where there is dentin exposure. This will strip the enamel down and may lead to severe damage to teeth and gum.

Regular checkups should be scheduled to help halt wear and tear caused by grinding before it becomes problematic.

  • Loose Teeth

Bruxism can be so extreme that it results in the loosening of your teeth from the jawbone. Other issues, like the creation of pockets along the gum line, may also arise. Night guard for bruxism is designed to prevent problems like this, and there are multiple types to choose from.

  • Gum Recession

For people with bruxism, teeth grinding is a leading cause of gum recession. For several reasons, there’s a direct relation between teeth grinding and gum recession. Grinding can damage the soft tissue directly; Gum tissues that have been reduced won’t grow back.

Furthermore, it can loosen the teeth and create pockets along the gum line, where bacteria can lodge, leading to gingivitis and periodontitis. If left unchecked, this can bring about gum recession and eventually lead to exposing the root.

  • Headache

While asleep, we may do things we’ll never become aware of. For example, bruxing may be so severe that it causes jaw pain, headaches, and even migraines. Depending on the duration, bruxing exerts up to 250 pounds of force per square inch. This massive force exerted on the muscles can induce jaw pain, discomfort, and headaches.

  • TMD

The physical stress that teeth grinding can place on the jaw can lead to more problematic complications than occasional jaw pain or headaches. You can stress the joint to the point that it damages the temporomandibular jaw joint. This is termed temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Teeth grinding can become severe, leading to painful and problematic complications. For nighttime relief, our dentists will likely fit you with custom-fitted mouthguards. To learn more, please contact us or visit our website.

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