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We’ve all seen the evil villain in the cartoons that furiously grinds his teeth when he’s been foiled by the protagonist(s). It’s humorous and silly. However, in real life, teeth grinding is no laughing matter.

Many people habitually grind their teeth under stress, and it will inevitably yield some unfavorable consequences. Teeth grinding causes the protective layer of enamel to be worn down, which allows for bacteria to more easily penetrate the lower, more sensitive layers of your teeth. This leads to tooth decay and the weakened bone structure increases your chances of contracting gum diseases.

Find another habit to release your stress, such as fidgeting with a rubber band or squeezing stress balls. It is also a huge step just to become self aware of your habits and actions. Most people who grind their teeth are unaware of it, and it’s especially hard to notice when you’re stressed or angry, or any other intense emotion. Noticing when you do it and your habits will help you to predict when you are likely to grind your teeth again, and then you can take measures to stop yourself from grinding your teeth or stay extra conscious of what your teeth are doing.

If you grind your teeth involuntarily at night, talk to your dentist about getting fitted with a night guard to protect our teeth. It’s hard to know if you do, because you’re asleep, but if a spouse mentions hearing grinding noises at night, if you see your teeth getting shorter, or if you suffer from dull aches in the morning, it’s a possibility.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today.