Stress can do a lot of things to your body. Unfortunately, stress is incredibly widespread. In 2015, the American Psychological Association released it’s survey on Stress in America to explore how stress impacts adults across the country. In essence, what that study has said over the years is that greater and greater percentages of adults have complained about experiencing high levels of stress.
But stress doesn’t just give us ulcers, lead to nailbiting, and cause us to lose sleep at night – it is also one of the top causes of tooth grinding, otherwise known as “bruxism”.
Naturally, the most obvious problem with tooth grinding is damage to your teeth. Not only can you cause stress fractures on your teeth and damage your molars, but you can also wear away the protective covering on your teeth which can lead to receding gums – a problem that starts simple and can get much worse if you don’t get it taken care of.
On top of dental damage existing as a problem in and of itself, grinding will also cause your teeth to get shorter. The problem with this isn’t just the look of your teeth, but the fact that it can result in your upper and lower jaw impacting with greater impact when you chew – which leads to a greater risk for fractures while making the underlying damage even worse. In extreme cases, our dentists in Downey, Ca have even seen grinding so bad that the molars were ground all the way to the gumline – requiring extraction and tooth replacement with either a dental bridge or a dental implant.
But keep in mind, even if you have to replace teeth that have been damaged as a result of grinding – it’s still important to treat the grinding itself either with changes to your lifestyle or by investing in a nightguard. Otherwise, the grinding will just damage the dental restoration.
Do you frequently wake up with headaches? If so, grinding might be your problem. Sleeping partners might also be hearing an unsettling, grinding sound that is also a telltale sign of teeth grinding. If this sounds like you and you’re a patient in the Orange County area, get in touch with us today. We can get you the relief you’ll appreciate!