Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is an oral health condition affecting many people. In fact, many of the patients who see our dentists at our Palm Harbor, FL, clinic are unaware that this condition affects them. Dr. Dan Knellinger, Dr. Stacey Verkler, and Dr. Carol Bou-Sliman, and the rest of the Knellinger Dental Excellence team would like to encourage our patients to make a New Year’s resolution to prevent tooth grinding from harming their teeth.
Is Teeth Grinding Dangerous?
In most cases, tooth enamel is tough and highly durable. Adult teeth can deliver a lifetime of dependable biting, chewing, speech, and smiling. Bruxism is a persistent condition characterized by clenching and grinding the teeth together, usually during sleep. Before long, tooth enamel begins to wear down. Teeth can even crack or chip as a result of prolonged teeth grinding.
Bruxism has several effects on the health of teeth. For instance:
- Worn enamel has less ability to resist tooth decay, so cavities are likely to affect people suffering from bruxism.
- Teeth may not fit together as comfortably, so biting and chewing can become uncomfortable.
- Worn enamel also provides less protection to dentin, the tooth’s sensitive inner layer.
- Cracked and chipped enamel may lead to progressive tooth damage.
What Can Be Done?
Custom mouth guards can be made to fit securely over your teeth to protect surfaces from grinding during sleep. Some at-home mouth guard kits are available from drug stores though not everyone finds these convenient to use.
Here at Knellinger Dental Excellence we like to help patients address the root causes of bruxism in addition to managing the symptoms. Your dentist can discuss stress reduction techniques that are intended to help patients enjoy more restful sleep. Identifying foods that disrupt sleep can also be a valuable strategy.
Talk to Your Dentist Today
If you are concerned about the effects of bruxism on your teeth, schedule an appointment with Drs. Knellinger, Verkler or Bou-Sliman, by calling (727) 228-8000.