Top 8 Compromising Effects of Teeth Grinding on Your Health

Teeth grinding, scientifically known as bruxism, might seem harmless, but it can significantly impact your health. While some consequences are short-term, many individuals face more severe long-term issues, some of which could become permanent if left untreated. Addressing short-term concerns promptly is crucial, as they can escalate into more painful and lasting problems. Seeking medical guidance at the earliest signs of teeth grinding is not only about preserving your enamel and teeth and safeguarding your facial appearance. Teeth grinding is often induced by stress that impairs a lot of functions in a human body that affect their health and aesthetics. So if you don’t address it as the initial issue, not only you may find your oral health deteriorating but also need to resort to hair loss treatment or fixing other problems caused by stress. Read on to learn more about the eight most common effects of prolonged teeth grinding:

1. Damaged teeth

Extended teeth grinding often results in flattened teeth with a uniform, squared-off appearance. The friction gradually erodes the enamel on the biting surfaces, causing teeth to shorten and wear down. Untreated grinding intensifies these consequences, potentially leading to severe outcomes. It's worth noting that dental work, including fillings and crowns, can also fall victim to grinding, necessitating replacements.

2. Altered facial appearance

A noteworthy impact of long-term teeth grinding is the hypertrophy or enlargement of the masseter muscles, which can give the jaw a bulkier, more masculine appearance. This effect is particularly undesirable for female patients. The application of Botox for masseter muscle reduction can help slim down the jawline, contributing to a more feminine facial contour and appearance.

3. Tooth sensitivity

Chronic grinding wears away the protective enamel layer of your teeth. This exposes the inner layers to oral bacteria, acids from food, and plaque, inviting cavity formation. The resultant cavities create pathways for temperature sensations to reach the nerves, making consuming certain foods and beverages a potentially uncomfortable or painful experience.

4. Headaches and jaw pain

The relentless pressure exerted during grinding in your sleep, averaging 49 minutes to an hour, exerts more than 250 pounds of force per square inch. This force can rival that needed to crack open a tough nut. Such prolonged strain on the jaw muscles leads to discomfort, pain, and, often, headaches that recur daily, usually occurring first thing in the morning.

5. Receding gums

Gum recession is a common consequence of teeth grinding due to the excessive force on the gums. This pressure can lead to the separation of gums from teeth, forming pockets that harbor oral bacteria and food debris, potentially resulting in periodontal disease. This infection damages the gum tissue, leading to diminished support for your teeth and a decrease in the underlying bone's volume and density.

6. Tooth loss

Severe teeth grinding can escalate to a point where teeth detach from the jaw. This detachment, coupled with the weakening of the tooth structure, increases the risk of dislodging a tooth from its socket.

7. Speech impediments

Teeth grinding can contribute to problems with speech, such as unclear articulation, slurred speech, and altered pronunciation patterns. The root cause lies in malocclusion from grinding your teeth at night or during the day.

8. Digestive concerns

Enamel erosion exposes the dentin and roots of your teeth, affecting your ability to chew food properly. Inadequate chewing can lead to an accumulation of stomach acid, triggering issues like heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion.

The bottom line 

If you grind your teeth daily, getting help from professionals is critical to avoiding a variety of problems with your teeth, looks, speech, and digestion. Most disorders associated with tooth grinding are long-term and demand thorough, often expensive therapies. To avoid unnecessary issues, it is advisable to address the issue as soon as possible. Remember that maintaining your oral health affects your overall well-being in addition to protecting your smile.

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