If your teeth don’t hurt when you grind them together, then it probably doesn’t seem like a problem worth solving. However, consistently grinding your teeth together puts them through more than they were meant to withstand. Even if you don’t feel it right away, doing it often enough can lead to extensive wear and/or damage to your tooth structure. If you grind your teeth habitually, then learn how to stop, or if you may need help from your dentist to protect your teeth.
If it’s just a habit, you can stop it
For most people who grind their teeth, the action is just a habit that they may or may not always notice. If it’s just a habit or nervous tic, then the good news is you have a good chance of stopping it. Make yourself aware by paying attention to your teeth throughout the day and start noticing how often you do it. Make note of what triggers it, and find ways to consciously put a stop to it. For example, placing the tip of your tongue between your upper and lower teeth will force them to instinctively stop if they try to grind together.
If it’s more, you should talk to your dentist
One or more mindful tips can help you train yourself out of a teeth-grinding habit, but for many people, the problem is that it isn’t just a subconscious habit. Bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, is a condition with many different potential underlying factors, and unlike a habit, those factors can make it impossible to stop grinding your teeth on your own. They can also indicate further trouble with your bite function and long-term oral health if your bruxism isn’t resolved. In many cases, treatment can be as conservative as wearing a custom-designed appliance, or nightguard, while you sleep to stop your teeth from grinding together at night.
If it continues, it can lead to more problems
The biggest problem with teeth-grinding, whether it’s a habit or a condition, is that it doesn’t just make your teeth sensitive. It can also lead to a wide range of increasingly more severe oral health troubles the longer it continues. For example, your teeth may grow sensitive as their enamel is worn away by the pressure and friction. Over time, though, this sensitivity will grow more severe, and the tooth’s main structure can begin to wear away, or sustain a break or fracture. No matter the cause of your teeth-grinding, it’s worth finding the most effective way to stop, for the sake of your long-term oral health.
If you need help to stop grinding your teeth
Whether it’s just a habit, or an underlying condition known as bruxism, unchecked teeth-grinding can lead to serious problems for your oral health if you don’t take steps to stop. To learn more about how, or to schedule a consultation, call Cedar Dental in Cedar Rapids, IA, today at (319) 364-7108.