Most people grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding (medically referred to as bruxism) does not cause any harm. However, regular teeth grinding not only causes damage to your teeth, but it could also make way for other oral health complications to arise. People who have bruxism often don’t realize that they have this condition because they’re sleeping while it happens.
To determine whether or not you are grinding your teeth, have a look at the following:
- Check your front teeth on both the lower and upper jaw, to see if they look flat, chipped and worn.
- Look closely at your teeth to see if little hairline cracks are running up and down the front teeth.
- Examine your back molars and check if they look ground down and flat.
With bruxism, there is a lot of pressure transmitted down to the gums, causing the gums to recede. This creates sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages. Once the gum recedes, you will notice the exposure of darker roots that were once covered by gum tissue.
Some experts consider bruxism to be a habit while others believe it to be related to the following:
- Stress, frustration, anger and anxiety
- A malocclusion (an improper positioning of the teeth when the jaw is closed)
- A rare disease of the nerves and muscles in the face
- A side effect of some antidepressant medication
- A complication of Huntington or Parkinson’s disease
The easiest solution to treating bruxism is to wear custom-made night guards that prevent the teeth from scraping against each other while you are asleep. A dentist will also be able to restore your damaged teeth with dental crowns or filling to maintain the proper size and shape of your natural teeth. To schedule an appointment with a dentist, contact a dentist in Cape Town now.