Teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, is a common condition that affects a lot of people. The main symptom being the involuntary gnashing and grinding of the teeth while a person is asleep. The long-term effects of teeth grinding can be devastating because it can cause enamel to crack, broken teeth, teeth sensitivity or the loss of teeth. A teeth grinding habit can also affect other aspects of someone’s daily life.
Teeth grinding can have the following effects:
Constant jaw pain and headaches
A chronic teeth grinding condition can cause constant jaw pain and headaches. Reoccuring jaw pain can interfere with a person’s day to day activities. It may cause discomfort when trying to eat or even a constant pain that can be irritating. People who grind their teeth may frequently wake up with a headache.
A temporomandibular disorder
Tooth grinding may cause pain to come from various jaw joints. A temporomandibular diagnosis is given when teeth grinding affects the joints that are connected in front of someone's ears. These joints are important since they connect the skull to the lower jaw.
Disturbed sleep pattern
Someone grinding their teeth often takes place in the early part of a persons sleep cycle and can disturb the sleep of a person’s partner. In most cases, the grinding and clenching is loud enough that it may make it almost impossible to share a room with the person with the problem. Of course, this can strain any relationship, and cause discomfort during the day.
The grinding also affects the person’s sleep because they are not getting adequate rest from the tensing of the muscles in the face. The general lack of proper sleep can take a toll on a person’s health.
Disturbed eating habits
Constant grinding of teeth can erode the enamel leading to exposure of the underlying dentin layer. This exposure causes sensitivity to the teeth from both extreme temperatures and pressure. Severe sensitivity can also affect a person’s eating habits, and someone may not be able to handle the temperature variations in their food.
Change in appearance
Someone’s appearance has an effect on peoples first impression when meeting new people. Teeth grinding may make it significantly hard to make the desired first impression, as it can alter the structure of a person’s face over time.
Chronic teeth grinding leads to overexertion of the masseter muscles, which are located at the back angle section of the lower jaw. Continuous clenching and grinding cause these muscles to bulk-up, which results in a wider appearance of the face. It can also lead to the surface loss of the enamel resulting in the teeth looking shorter, which gives a person a look that is often associated with old age.
Teeth grinding can be hard to detect in some cases because some may not know that they are doing it during their sleep. However, regular visits to the dentist can detect the signs and symptoms of the issues.
If you still have questions about grinding your teeth and how it can affect your daily life, then give us a call today. We are happy to help in any way that we can.
Request an appointment here: https://www.sundancedentalcare.com or call Sundance Dental Care at (623) 687-2993 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.
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