Your habit of teeth grinding would be described by a dentist or orthodontist as bruxism, one of several destructive para-functional habits which means you are using your body parts, in this case your teeth and jaws, in a way that was not intended for those parts. Bruxism sufferers contract the masseter muscle, the large muscle that moves your jaw, repetitively. Often, people aren’t aware of this because it usually occurs during sleep.
The problem with grinding or gnashing your teeth is that the tooth-on-tooth action will eventually wear down teeth and even ruin fillings and other dental work. The results of grinding are not pleasant; flattened teeth, chipped teeth, extra tooth sensitivity, soreness and pain in the jaw muscles, wearing down of tooth enamel and even insomnia. Grinding can also be associated with frequent headaches.
Millions of children under the age of 5 and adults suffer from bruxism which can occur during the day or night and can increase during a stressful time. Luckily most of these children will overcome their bruxism by the time they are teenagers. A special mouth guard is recommended for severe cases of bruxism and they work very well in reducing grinding and giving you a better night’s sleep. Ready-made mouth guards of the boil and bite kind are available in drug stores and are immersed in hot water to soften them up so you can mould them around your teeth. A custom-made guard is the better choice and can be made by a dentist to protect the teeth and reduce the incidence of grinding related headaches.
Preserve your teeth and well-being by booking a consultation with your dentist on how to treat bruxism. Life does not have to be a grind.
If you have issues with grinding your teeth, or for any other dental needs, call Maple Leaf Dentistry at 705-748-2454 or visit their website, www.mapleleafdentistry.com.