Have you ever woken up with a sore jaw and teeth that feels raw? If this is the case, likely you have experienced bruxism. Bruxism refers to excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching, often while sleeping, which can create hypersensitive teeth, aching jaw muscles, tooth wear, and damage to your teeth. Teeth grinding can be a result of stress or anxiety, but often times it is also caused by an abnormal bite, missing teeth, or teeth that are out of alignment. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can also cause you to grind your teeth in your sleep.
The harmful nature of teeth grinding.
Though teeth grinding may not cause much damage in the short term, over time it can cause serious damage. Chronic teeth grinding can result in fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. It can wear your teeth down into stumps. When your teeth become incredibly worn down, you may have to get bridges, crowns, or even implants to get it fixed. In addition to your teeth, bruxism can affect your jaws due to the amount of stress it puts on it. In the worst scenario, it can even change the appearance of your face
Solutions to teeth grinding.
You can go to see your dentist for a mouthguard that fits over your teeth. This will prevent damage from occurring in the first place. Other solutions involve treating the problem at the source. If you feel that stress is causing you to grind your teeth, attending stress counselling or starting to exercise can help. You should also avoid stimulating foods before bed such as caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol.