stressed woman with grinding teeth, bruxism symptoms; portrait of stressful, exhausted, tired sleeping woman grinding her teeth with stress; oral, dental care medical concept; asian adult woman modelOne of the ways you can damage your teeth is by grinding and/or clenching them too often. While some people may only do this once in a while (without much effect), it becomes a problem when it’s habitual. It can result in some unflattering and uncomfortable side effects.

The problem is, most people aren’t aware that they’re doing it. Grinding and/or clenching (also known as Bruxism) can happen during the day, but much of it is done when the person is sleeping. This is why it’s difficult sometimes for a person to be aware there is an issue, until some of the side effects start to show up. Things to look for include jaw pain and other muscular pain around the area, headaches, and sensitivity in your teeth. It can also show up in a receding gum line and teeth getting smaller. Excessive grinding and/or clenching can even result in loose teeth or tooth fractures. This habit is not only bad for your facial bone structure, it can also be painful to your facial muscles.

However, there is good news. There are solutions to help resolve the issue. Grinding and/or clenching can be caused by various things, for example: sleep apnea, anxiety/stress, a misaligned jaw, etc. It’s important to find out what is leading to your grinding and/or clenching so you can find the right treatment plan. If grinding and/or clenching remains an issue, there is another option. You can sleep with a bite plate/mouth guard. Your dentist can make sure you have one that is custom made to fit your mouth.

What do you do if you already have damage from grinding and/or clenching? Depending on how bad the damage is, your dentist may recommend various restoration plans: crowns, bridges, dental implants, veneers, etc. Using the right application, your dentist can use appropriate actions to make your smile look great again.

If you know or you suspect that you’re dealing with teeth grinding and/or clenching, make sure to talk with your dentist today. Consider what could be causing it, figure out a treatment plan, and then get any damage corrected so you can move forward.

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