Some things are obviously a threat to your dental health. Eat too much sugar, for instance, and you’re more likely to get a cavity. Smoke cigarettes and you’ll be at a much higher risk for cavities, gum disease, and much worse. However, there are times when the greatest threat to your dental health isn’t so obvious. Bruxism, the uncontrollable habit of constantly grinding your teeth, is exactly such a threat. On one hand, teeth-grinding is something everyone does once in a while, so it probably doesn’t raise any alarms when you catch yourself doing it. On the other hand, most people with bruxism grind their teeth in their sleep, so they won’t catch themselves doing it at all.
When You Can’t Control It
If you grind your teeth when you’re stressed or in pain, then you’d be right not to consider it a warning sign of bruxism. As a tic, teeth-grinding isn’t dangerous. As a condition, though, bruxism can force you to grind your teeth at virtually any moment, and it can be so random that you may not even notice it if it does occur during the day. Because you can’t control bruxism alone, your teeth will continue to grind away at each other, wearing themselves down until they become damaged and/or forced out of alignment.
The Consequences of Bruxism
Worn and broken teeth are the obvious consequences of forcing your teeth to rub against each other multiple times a day. What may not be so obvious is how that tooth wear and damage affects the rest of your oral health. If your teeth become worn down, they won’t meet each other evenly when you bite down. This throws your jaw off balance, forcing it to work overtime to compensate. Before long, your jaw joints (TMJs) can become exhausted or damaged from the stress, leading to TMJ disorder and a host of symptoms like jaw pain, headaches, tinnitus, and more.
Find Out How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of West Forest Lake, Kennedy, Lake Bluff, Skokie, Junction, and all surrounding communities.