Bad oral care habits, like lack of regular brushing and flossing, are the usual cause of dental health problems in patients. But there's one bad habit that can do as much damage as not brushing regularly: teeth grinding. Learn why grinding your teeth, also called bruxism, isn't good for your dental health and how you can stop it with the help of an Aiea, HI dentist at Pearl Kai Dentistry.
Why Do Patients Grind Their Teeth?
Patients who are experiencing great amounts of stress often grind their teeth as a coping mechanism. Sometimes being in an intense moment of thought can cause grinding. In some cases, grinding starts due to a problem with a patient's bite or an abnormally aligned jaw. It's a habit that develops and worsens over time if it's not addressed.
Why Is Teeth Grinding Not Good?
If you grind your teeth enough you can damage the enamel irreversibly. The grinding action wears down the top surface of the tooth, making it more vulnerable to harmful bacteria that could cause an infection. It also can cause the teeth to become highly sensitive, making it difficult to eat or drink. Grinding your teeth could also lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, which causes pain, clicking and popping at the hinges of the jaw.
Ways to Prevent Teeth Grinding?
The first step to preventing tooth grinding is to become aware of it. Many people grind their teeth when they are sleeping or focused on something else, so they do not even realize that they're doing it. The clearest sign of grinding is rough or jagged tooth surfaces and tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can confirm the problem and create a custom night guard for you to wear to prevent it from happening. Orthodontic treatment to correct bite problems may also help.
Talk to Your Aiea Dentist
If you catch yourself grinding your teeth or you think your teeth are worn down due to nighttime clenching and grinding, get help from Dr. Gale Maraña, an Aiea, HI dentist. Call Pearl Kai Dentistry at (808) 488-7868 today.
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