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How Protecting Your Teeth From Grinding Now Can Save You Money Later

by Andre Daniels

Grinding your teeth is something that can dramatically alter the look and functionality of your smile. However, that doesn't mean that it's your fault. Many people grind their teeth without even realizing it, only to be told by a dentist that they have a problem much later on. If you know that you grind or are worried that you do, read this guide to find out why it's such a problem and what you can do to save yourself from major repair work later on.

Why You Grind

Many people grind their teeth due to stress. This stress can manifest during the daytime or even while you sleep, which is unfortunate, since you can't stop yourself while you're unconscious.

However, that doesn't mean that even if you live a low-stress lifestyle that you're immune from tooth grinding. Tooth grinding is something that people can also experience if they have a jaw disorder, like temporomandibular joint disorder. This problem can cause tooth grinding and can make it difficult to not grind your teeth, as it can put pressure and stress on the joint that's already hurting.

What it Can Cause

Unfortunately, prolonged tooth grinding can cause all sorts of dental problems for you.

One of the earliest and most common problems is that teeth get worn down. The sharp edges of your teeth that are useful for tearing and grinding food can become blunt and rounded. From there, the enamel becomes damaged and puts the internal structures of your teeth in danger. Once that happens, it becomes much easier for your teeth to become cracked or broken from your tooth grinding.

In addition, tooth grinding can cause new bone cells to develop in places where you don't want them. You could end up with bony bulges under your gums. While this problem isn't a health risk, it can be unnerving to notice a hard lump under your teeth, and the only certain way to get rid of it is to stop grinding your teeth.

What to Do

It may seem hard to give up grinding if you can't control yourself at night. Thankfully, that's where a dentist can help.

Your dentist can make you an affordable, custom-fit grinding guard. You can wear it at night or during the day if you're having a particularly hard time with grinding while you're awake. This can be particularly useful for those with temporomandibular joint disorder, as you don't have to strain your jaw joint to keep your jaw open so that your teeth don't grind together.

This solution is far more affordable and easier for patients to go through than waiting for the damage to be done.

Talk to a family dentistry professional if you're concerned about grinding your teeth. If you have a problem that can be detected, your dentist will work with you to perform any repairs needed at this stage and to make your anti-grind guard.