Everybody grinds their teeth on occasion. Tooth enamel is hard enough to withstand occasional grinding. But chronic tooth grinding has a cumulative effect on teeth. Over time, chronic tooth grinding will wear tooth enamel and damage your teeth.
Sometimes, people are not aware that they grind their teeth because they grind their teeth unconsciously. If your teeth are worn, they are more prone to fracturing and tooth decay. People most commonly grind their teeth in the following situations.
1. When under stress
Stress can cause all kinds of unconscious habits, such as nail biting, fist clenching and teeth grinding. Students and office workers often suffer stress while completing tasks. And as a result, they grind their teeth. And since caffeine can exacerbate stress and anxiety, drinking coffee while working or studying can worsen teeth grinding.
If you find that you grind your teeth while working or studying, you need to take steps to protect your teeth from wear and tear. Your dentist can provide you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding. Mouth guards provided by a dentist are custom-made. This means that they fit the shape of your mouth specifically. Custom guards are also made of thin materials.
You can wear a custom mouth guard while you work or study to protect your teeth from unconscious grinding. And you can also chew gum while you work or study to stop yourself from grinding your teeth. Make sure you choose sugar-free gum.
2. During exercise
Some people also grind or grit their teeth during exercise. This is true of bike riders, runners and weight lifters. And if you exercise often, the cumulative effect of tooth grinding will damage your teeth.
If you grind or grit your teeth during exercise, you can have your dentist create a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth during exercise. If you have had expensive dental work done, such as crowns or veneers, a mouth guard can protect that dental work.
3. While asleep
The most damaging form of teeth grinding is bruxism or nighttime grinding. Nighttime grinding happens while you sleep because of stress or teeth or jaw misalignment. Bruxism is very damaging to teeth because you cannot regulate the pressure you exert on your teeth while you grind your teeth in your sleep.
If you grind your teeth in your sleep, book a dental examination. Your dentist can identify the reason why you grind your teeth at night. If misalignment is the cause, then your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment. Your dentist can also create a custom night guard for you to wear while you sleep.
Teeth grinding damages tooth enamel and leads to fractures. If you grind your teeth during the day or night, your dentist can help you discover the cause and provide you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from damage.
Reach out to a local dentist to learn more.