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Do you Grind Your Teeth?

February 1, 2013


Did you know that teeth grinding (bruxism) affects adults more commonly than children? Over time, it can wear down the biting surfaces of teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.

Everybody handles excess stress differently. Some people develop an ulcer, some people develop high blood pressure, and some people grind or clench their teeth.

Stress, it’s now believed, is the major cause of grinding and clenching your teeth, however sleep patterns are also a big culprit. Teeth-grinding is thought to be hereditary. It’s also related to gender: Three times as many women as men grind their teeth. Bruxism is most common in those between 20 and 40 years of age.

The problem with bruxism, as the habit of grinding and clenching is called, is the wear and tear on your teeth. When you grind your teeth, you can wear away tooth enamel. This can lead to sensitive teeth and tooth decay. Finally, grinding taxes the muscles and joints of the temporomandibular (jaw). Prolonged grinding may damage the jaw joint enough to cause osteoarthritis as well as bone loss in periodontal (gum) disease, although it does not actually cause gum disease.

If teeth grinding is issue for you, contact us to make an appointment and Dr. Hayner can assess if there is any damage to your teeth.

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