The Effects of Grinding Your Teeth at Night

April 22, 2019 8:08 pm

If you dismiss your own or a loved one’s tooth grinding at night as merely a noisy inconvenience, you may want to think twice. Also known as bruxism, tooth grinding can not only have some serious consequences, it may also be a sign of a serious underlying health condition like sleep apnea. Today, we want to explore some of the common effects of grinding your teeth at night, and share some strategies for eliminating grinding.

man in pain grimacing holding his head and jaw with both hands

Headaches & Jaw Pain

Tooth grinding can cause headaches in the morning, due to the constant pressure on your jaw and skull throughout the night. Other patients who grind their teeth complain about constant jaw pain as muscles are straining throughout the night while you grind teeth.

Tooth Sensitivity

Over the years, tooth grinding can lead to tooth sensitivity. When you grind your teeth, tooth enamel slowly wears away as teeth rub together. Not only does enamel protect your teeth from cavities and decay, it also protects the delicate inner dentin, pulp, and nerve endings. Once enamel is damaged and nerve endings are exposed, you will likely experience more sensitive teeth.

Cracked or Shortened Teeth

As your teeth grind back and forth, this wears away on the surface of your teeth. Over time, this can result in teeth becoming shorter. This can also lead to damage in the form of cracks, chips, or even broken teeth.

How Can I Treat Tooth Grinding?

While Dr. Henson may be able to create a customized mouthpiece that protects your teeth while you sleep, the best way to treat tooth grinding is to address its source. For some patients, tooth grinding indicates the presence of a sleep breathing disorder such as sleep apnea. For others, tooth grinding is indicative of stress or anxiety.

Contact us to ask our team questions about tooth grinding or to schedule a consultation!