The Dangers of Teeth Grinding By James Stein on June 12, 2012

At some point in our lives, most of us grind or clench our teeth. However, some grind their teeth on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many patients are unaware of this habit as most teeth grinding occurs during sleep. If left unchecked, teeth grinding can cause major damage. Fortunately, a variety of dental procedures are available to help stop this detrimental habit, prevent further damage to the teeth and gums, and repair the damage caused by teeth grinding. Dr. James M. Stein, your Boston cosmetic dentist, offers the latest advances in restoring your smile and alleviating teeth grinding.

What Are the Causes of Teeth Grinding?

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can be caused by a number of factors. Stress and anxiety are common causes, along with consuming high levels of caffeine and smoking. Other possible causes are an abnormal bite (called malocclusion), missing teeth, or crooked teeth. To determine the possible cause or causes to your teeth grinding, schedule an appointment with James M. Stein, D.M.D. For our patients in Boston, restorative dentistry treatments, paired with the use of a mouth guard, can improve the health of the smile.

What Are the Damaging Effects of Teeth Grinding?

Teeth grinding is dangerous to your oral and overall health. Chronic teeth grinding wears teeth down making them susceptible to further damage like fractures and decay. Regular teeth grinding can also loosen teeth and even cause tooth loss and gum recession. If teeth grinding is not stopped, the teeth can be worn down to small stumps.

Besides oral health issues, teeth grinding can be detrimental to your overall well being. Other common symptoms of teeth grinding include constant dull headaches, jaw pain, and sleep disturbance. Some teeth grinding is loud enough to wake one's sleeping partner. Long term teeth grinding can cause temporomandibular joint disorder (often referred to as TMJ or TMD) or worsen your pre-existing TMD. Damage to the teeth and jaw pain caused by teeth grinding can make eating difficult and painful. The damage caused by teeth grinding may lead to the need for restorative dental work such as root canal therapy, crowns, bridges, dental implants, or even dentures.

How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?

To stop teeth grinding, we must first determine its cause. Dr. James M. Stein is an expert in dealing with teeth grinding and will work with you to determine your specific needs.

  • If you grind your teeth while sleeping, one of the first courses of action to prevent further damage is fitting you with a protective mouth guard to wear while you sleep.
  • Teeth grinding caused by a bad bite and the misalignment of the teeth can be treated through a number of procedures. Orthodontics are a common treatment in the correction of malocclusion.
  • Some patients may participate in stress reducing activities like exercise and meditation to reduce teeth grinding. For some people, reducing stress and anxiety will require intervention from a doctor.

Contact Dr. Stein Today

Don't let teeth grinding get to the point of causing serious damage, contact Dr. Stein today. Dr. Stein and our friendly, experienced staff are ready to discuss your options to satisfy your dental needs.

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Drs. Stein

James M. Stein, DMD

Our dental practice has been trusted by Boston patients for over 30 years. Together, Dr. James M. Stein and Brett E. Stein are members of various renowned organizations, including: 

  • American Dental Association
  • Massachusetts Dental Society
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American College of Prosthodontists

If you are ready to achieve optimal oral and overall health, call our office at (617) 227-6076 or request an appointment online.

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