Are You Grinding Your Teeth?
Tooth grinding (AKA bruxism) can be a big problem
Grinding or clenching your teeth is a common stress reaction, and most don’t even realize they are doing it. However, it can have a devastating impact on your teeth, especially when it becomes a habit and a go-to response. If you know you have a grinding problem or have other unexplained jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, or soreness, please contact us for an appointment by calling (415) 499-7700.
Compared to other animals like crocodiles, shark, etc., it may seem like humans have a relatively weak bite. However, the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body and are more than capable of producing great force. (On average, around 160 pounds per square inch.) This pressure can crack or damage teeth enamel, especially over time and with repetitive behavior.
Even more devastating is when the tooth grinding occurs at night when the patient is unaware. In extreme cases, they may wake up with a sore jaw or teeth, but there may be no initial symptoms at all. Over time, however, tooth enamel is worn down (sometimes entirely), and teeth become more sensitive to temperature and pressure. Teeth can also be more prone to developing cavities or cracking.
Treatment & Prevention
We can treat the effects of tooth grinding by repairing any damage that has occurred. However, it is just as important to treat the condition itself. We can create a plastic acrylic night guard to be worn by the patient, which will stop any further damage. Additionally, ensuring that you get enough sleep, regular exercise, and reducing stress are effective ways to minimize bruxism.