Teeth clenching or grinding in sleep, also known as bruxism, can damage teeth, gums, and also the muscles and joints of the jaw. Let's take a closer look at the damage caused by this condition.
How does Clenching Teeth Harm Oral Health?
Damage to the teeth is an unavoidable fallout of bruxism. Teeth grinding can wear out the enamel leaving the tooth vulnerable to damage. Since the enamel does not have any nerves or blood supply, once it is damaged, it cannot repair itself. Over time, the pulp within becomes susceptible to bacterial infection and damage because of jaw movement when we speak or chew.
The stress from clenching and grinding can fracture teeth, particularly the molars. You may mistake the discolored fractures to be the onset of cavities. When you clench or grind your teeth in sleep, the pressure exerted by the jaws can be up to ten times more than that exerted during chewing food. Because you're asleep, you have no control on the degree of pressure being exerted. If not controlled, bruxism can wear down teeth, sometimes to stumps.
If you clench and grind your teeth in sleep, then your oral health is in jeopardy. Gum disease, infections, and tooth loss are real possibilities. Temporomandibular joint disorder may result from unchecked bruxism. Any existing jaw disorder is likely to exacerbate because of this condition. Headaches, sore jaws, pain in the ear, and a clicking jaw are common symptoms of a TMJ disorder.
Overdeveloped jaw muscles from the forceful grinding in sleep can damage the salivary glands. Generally speaking, we do not recommend dental implants for people suffering from bruxism.
Bruxism must be treated at the earliest to stem further damage that can extend to other parts of the body, such as the digestive system. If you wish to learn more about how to control clenching and grinding, then get in touch with us right away. Call now.