The chronic habit of grinding and clenching is referred to as bruxism in the dental field. If you are a bruxer, you can be doing a lot of damage to your teeth. Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime with proper care, but the undue pressure of bruxing puts a lot of extra wear on your teeth and jaw. Therefore, grinding and clenching not only can ruin your smile, it may possibly lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), as well. If you think you may be suffering from bruxism, bring it to the attention of your dentist so you can get prompt treatment.
Why People Grind and Clench
There are several reasons that people grind their teeth. While this habit mostly takes place at night, many people do it throughout the day without even being aware of it. Reasons for grinding and clenching include:
- And certain medications can cause it
While you may be unaware that you brux during the day or at night, there are some symptoms to be aware of, including:
- A reversed smile line on your top front teeth is a tell-tale sign
- Worn teeth
- Cracked, fractured, chipped teeth
- Sensitive teeth and gums
- Aching teeth
- Chronic headaches
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
- And more
Don’t Let Bruxism Ruin Your Smile
Let untreated bruxism can ruin your teeth and, therefore, your smile. It can also lead to TMJ. If you think you may be a bruxer, get treatment ASAP. Treatment is painless and conservative and usually consists of a custom-fabricated night guard which prevents your upper and lower teeth from coming into contact during the night.