It’s estimated that about half the population will grind their teeth at some point in their lives, and for around eight per cent they will do so regularly.

But did you know this persistent grinding can have major impacts on both the quality of your sleep and the health of your teeth?

Here’s an insight into teeth grinding and what you can do to alleviate the problem.

Why do people grind their teeth?

Also known as ‘bruxism’, teeth grinding tends to occur as you sleep. That means you may not even be aware you are doing it and you might unwittingly be causing your teeth unexpected damage in the process.

In many cases teeth grinding is caused by stress, excess caffeine consumption or even hormonal changes like pregnancy.

It’s also linked to poor health, poor nutrition or ongoing pain, alcohol and drug consumption, tooth or jaw misalignment or fillings that sit too high.

What are the symptoms?

Other than being told by a partner or a family member that you grind your teeth, most people will also have a couple of telltale symptoms.

These include:

  • A dull ache in your jaw when you wake up
  • Headaches, jaw ache or ear pain
  • Clenching your teeth when you’re stressed or anxious
  • Loose teeth or temperature sensitive teeth
  • Cracked teeth or loose fillings

What does teeth grinding do?

The trouble with teeth grinding is that it takes a real toll on the surface, structure, health, and even position of your teeth.

Because the teeth are grating against each other they can become worn or cracked which makes them more prone to decay. This can result in extra fillings or root canals.

Meanwhile, teeth can actually break under the pressure and existing fillings can become loose.
In addition, teeth grinding can also result in an interrupted sleep, jaw aches, or strain on the muscle joint.

How can I stop it?

If you suspect you may grind your teeth there are a series of actions you can undertake.
First, it pays to look at contributing factors such as stress or caffeine consumption and work to reduce these possible causes.

Regular exercise and meditation or relaxation are suggested for stress. Meanwhile a healthy diet is a must.

In addition, you should also consult with your dentist and investigate the option of having a mouthguard fitted that you can wear at night.

Mouthguards help combat the wear on teeth and the effects of the friction caused by them rubbing together.

Like many areas of dental health, prevention is better than any cure, so reach out to your dentist to nip the issue in the bud before teeth grinding results in permanent damage to your smile.

About Grand Dental

Servicing the Blue Mountains region, Grand Dental is conveniently located in Lawson.

Our practice is committed to first class dentistry in an unhurried environment. Our mission is to make a positive difference in your life through personalised dentistry of the highest quality.

With services ranging from general and children’s dentistry to orthodontics, implants and cosmetic dentistry, we provide a full suite of dental services that cater to the entire family.

You can make a booking online, contact us directly, or explore more of our services here.