Bruxism refers to the habit of grinding and clenching your teeth involuntarily, especially at night. Teeth grinding is not always intentional and can also occur during daytime.
There is no conclusive treatment or cure for bruxism. However, research shows that stress is the leading cause of teeth grinding.
Prolonged untreated bruxism can lead to severe side effects in future. It is important to treat teeth grinding as soon as you find out that you have the habit.
The symptoms are easily noticeable though they vary depending on how you grind your teeth.
Teeth Grinding Effects: Risks and Complications of Non-treatment
Untreated bruxism leads to wearing out of the teeth enamel. Underneath the enamel is the dentine ,which gets exposed after the enamel is worn out. Dentine is soft and wears out faster than the enamel, and then exposes the pulp of the teeth.
The effects of teeth grinding can be long term or short term. Complications may occur if all these bruxism signs are not treated early enough.
Some of the complications include:
Grinding and clenching exerts enormous pressure on the teeth. The pressure can in turn flatten your teeth or wear them out. The result is possible teeth loss. Occlusal trauma and gum recession can also occur due to teeth cracking and chipping.
When eating or talking, the upper teeth get into contact with the lower jaws. Occlusal trauma occurs when pain results from these activities. Occlusal trauma is a severe symptom that manifests after extensive teeth grinding.
Wearing out of the teeth enamel means that food will not be chewed properly. This in turn leads to digestive problems. Indigestion then leads to poor health. Teeth grinders also have poor eating habits. When the required dietary intake is reduced, a person may miss some nutrients and suffer from various vitamin deficiency ailments.
Headaches and Migraine
Teeth grinding has also been found to cause headaches, earaches and migraines. The headaches mostly experienced in the morning may be as a result of sleep apnea and restlessness at night.
TMJ and Discomfort
Severe teeth grinding causes discomfort and results into TMJ.
The above are some of the effects of bruxism. Make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible to diagnose the causes of your condition and recommend the best treatment for you.
It is important to visit a dentist if you suspect you are grinding your teeth. You can also use a mouth guard to protect your teeth from further damage. Find reviews of the best mouth guards for teeth grinding here.