The Dangers of Bruxism: How Chronic Teeth Grinding Can Affect Your Oral Health

Toronto Teeth Grinding Treatment

If you grind your teeth, you’re not alone. Millions of Canadians grind their teeth, many without even realizing that they’re doing so. In fact, the majority of people who grind their teeth do so in their sleep, unsure why they’re waking up each morning with sore jaws and headaches. Thankfully, modern restorative dentistry can diagnose this chronic problem – clinically known as bruxism – and offer a variety of potential solutions.

At The Art of Dentistry in Toronto, teeth grinding treatment can take several possible forms, ranging from custom night guard therapy to oral surgery, depending on the severity of the condition and the toll it has taken on the teeth. What many people do not realize is that chronic bruxism, if left untreated, can cause serious oral health problems, including temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and even eventual tooth loss.

If you habitually grind your teeth, or you know someone who does, our esteemed dentists can help. During a confidential, one-on-one consultation, we can evaluate your mouth and explain the potential hazards associated with chronic bruxism. In the meanwhile, here are some facts about teeth grinding that perhaps you did not know.

Why do people grind their teeth?

By far, the most common cause of teeth grinding is stress. People who suffer from excessive stress and anxiety often express their emotions in subconscious ways, such as through bruxism, often when they are sleeping. Other common causes of bruxism include misalignment of the teeth, malocclusion (i.e., bite problems), and frequent sleep disturbances. In many cases, multiple factors contribute to bruxism, while in some cases no cause can be identified at all.

Why is bruxism potentially dangerous?

Although tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances found in nature, it is vulnerable to damage, especially over time. Your teeth endure considerable wear and tear simply through the everyday acts of biting and chewing, not to mention being exposed to the natural acids of your mouth. Introduce the added pressures introduced by daily grinding of the teeth, and damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw becomes that much more likely.

Bruxism is associated with numerous oral health problems, including:

  • Enamel erosion: The superficial layer of the teeth, the enamel, protects the underlying layer, the dentin. Once the enamel becomes eroded, the dentin becomes susceptible to damage, putting the entire tooth in jeopardy.
  • TMJ disorder: The temporomandibular joints are the joints responsible for connecting the lower jaw to the base of the skull. Bruxism can contribute to a potentially painful condition known as TMJ disorder, which can result in symptoms such as headaches, shoulder pain, ear pain, and facial pain.
  • Structural damage to the teeth: The pressure from bruxism can cause the teeth to become chipped, cracked, or weakened.
  • Damage to restorations: If you have crowns, bridges, dentures, fillings, porcelain veneers, or other restorations, bruxism can cause them to become broken or otherwise damaged.
  • Other oral health issues: Bruxism can cause tooth pain, loose teeth, gum recession, increased risk of cavities, and even tinnitus, or a chronic ringing in the ears.

Learn More about the Dangers of Bruxism

To learn more about bruxism and how it can be treated, please contact The Art of Dentistry today.