In childhood cartoons, the angry villain is commonly seen gnashing and grinding his teeth while the hero is in the process of foiling his evil plans. Teeth grinding is commonly a reaction to stress or pressure, both of which can be rather commonly found in today’s non-stop, busy atmosphere. This practice, however, can turn out to be highly destructive to the teeth. Also called bruxism, grinding teeth can wear down the enamel, which coats and protects the outer layer of your teeth. Without the enamel to protect it, the lower, more sensitive level of dentin beneath is exposed and as a result can get easily infected.
What are the symptoms of bruxism?
Mild levels of occasional teeth grinding, gnashing, or clenching is typically harmless and does not need to be treated. However, repeated practice of teeth grinding leads to complications that include:
Worn down, fractured, or chipped teeth
More sensitive teeth and pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold
Jaw pain or soreness
Tissue damaged on the inside of your cheek from chewing on it
Sometimes bruxism occurs during sleep. In these cases, it is hard to know that you are grinding your teeth unless a partner hears it at night or the pain starts.
Pay attention to your teeth and catch your symptoms early to save you a world of pain. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with the dentist, contact the Lakeway Center for Dentistry today.