How clenching and grinding of the teeth can affect your dental health

How clenching and grinding of the teeth can affect your dental health

While snoring is common, it’s not the only thing that can happen during the night that can impact one’s health. In fact, many patients experience a condition called bruxism and may not even know that it’s a problem!

What is bruxism?

Dr. Eric Wiitala of Scottsdale, AZ describes bruxism as the clenching and grinding of the teeth during the night. Many patients do this without even realizing it, which can make it difficult to diagnose if patients do not show the signs of wear and tear or have a sleeping partner that can attest to these actions. The condition can pose a threat to one’s oral health, which is why it is vital that patients get a definitive diagnosis from their dentist and speak to them about prevention and protection against bruxism.

How does bruxism affect me?

There are many ways in which this condition can impact one’s oral health. First and foremost, the clenching and grinding can cause unwanted wear and tear on natural tooth enamel as well as on dental restorations, such as crowns and fillings. It can break teeth or restorations, cause the misalignment of the teeth, and result in thinning of the natural tooth enamel from grinding. Additionally, patients may experience non-dental symptoms from their condition such as chronic headaches and muscle tension in the jaw joints. In fact, some patients have bruxism that is coexisting with other conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder, which causes tension and pain in the joint of the jaw. By talking to a dentist who has knowledge in bruxism and TMJ, many patients can get a definitive diagnosis sand discuss the advantages of using a mouthguard to protect the smile and reduce the symptoms of their condition.

Do you believe you are struggling with bruxism?

If you have been told by your sleeping partner that you grind your teeth at night, or if you are experiencing regularly broken or chipped teeth, you may be dealing with bruxism. Speaking to our dentist is the first step in finding a solution. Dr. Eric Wiitala and his team are located in Scottsdale, AZ at 9755 North 90th Street and can be reached for an appointment by calling (480) 657-6981.