Is Teeth Grinding Bad for My Health?

Brunette woman grinds her teeth as she sleeps, a harmful condition known as bruxism

In this blog post, we’ll help you understand how teeth grinding, or bruxism, impacts your oral health and how we can help at Bethea Family Dentistry in Columbia, SC.

Causes of Bruxism

Anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, and bite issues can contribute to this issue. Some patients only occasionally grind and clench their teeth, while some patients do so every night.

Effects of Teeth Grinding

If you grind and clench your teeth while sleeping, you may frequently wake up with tooth pain, jaw tightness, and a dull or constant headache. In addition to discomfort when waking up, you might suffer from increased tooth sensitivity when eating and drinking. You could have bite marks and sores on the inside of your cheeks. And you may notice your teeth look more yellow and worn down. Eventually, the excessive forces could fracture or loosen your teeth.

Teeth grinding can lead to chronic issues like temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ dysfunction or TMD. The temporomandibular joints are the hinge joints that connect your lower jaw, called the mandible, to your skull in front of your ears. Dysfunction of these joints can manifest as radiating pain in your jaw, face, and neck; a popping or clicking sound when you chew or open your mouth too wide; a loss of range of motion; and tightness of your neck and jaw muscles. If TMD progresses, it could alter the appearance of your face as your facial muscles become imbalanced.

Teeth Grinding Treatment in Columbia, SC

Dr. Bethea may fit you with a nightguard that you wear as you sleep. It prevents your teeth from touching one another and grinding together. And if your teeth are severely worn down or missing due to damage, we offer a wide range of services for restoring your smile to full function.

He may also recommend a visit to another specialist, such as a physical therapist for stretching your jaw and neck muscles or a psychologist to develop coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

Teeth grinding is a problem that can severely impact your teeth. At Bethea Family Dentistry, we can help. So don’t delay seeking treatment. Contact us at 803-462-4554 or utilize our online contact form to schedule an appointment at our dental office in Columbia, SC.

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