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Is Teeth Grinding a Habit, or a Serious Condition?

You brush and floss your teeth every day and visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings because you care about your smile’s health and appearance. Yet, good hygiene and preventing plaque buildup aren’t the only ways in which you can protect your dental health. Some more-discreet factors can also influence the health of your teeth and gums, such as the constant, unconscious grinding of your teeth. One of the more significant complications of teeth grinding, or bruxism, is that you might not realize it is a problem, especially if you exhibit bruxism more often in your sleep.

The Difficulties of Bruxism

  • As an occasional habit, grinding your teeth isn’t necessarily a worrisome issue. In fact, most people clench and grind their teeth once in a while (like when you’re angry, or when you’re working out). As a dental condition, you can’t control when and how often you grind your teeth, since you may not even be aware of it most of the time.
  • Another complication of bruxism is that it can be caused by a wide variety of factors, such as excessive daily stress or an alignment issue with your teeth and/or bite. Treating the condition often depends on its cause, and can range from stress-relief exercises to restorative dental treatment, or a combination of both.
  • Your teeth aren’t the only parts of your dental health that suffer when you grind them together. The jaw joints and muscles that control your mouth’s movement can also become damaged, inflamed, or misaligned, leading to a jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder.
  • Despite the complicated nature of bruxism’s development and progression, most cases can be treated with a custom-designed mouthguard that protects your teeth from rubbing against each other at night. The guard can also help your jaws rest more comfortably, reducing the risks of teeth grinding in your sleep.

To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling (203) 878-6699. The specialists at Sensitive Care Cosmetic & Family Dentistry proudly serve patients and their families in Milford, Stratford, West Haven, New Haven, and all surrounding communities.