Teeth Grinding and How it Affects Your Dental Health
People who adhere to a strict program of dental hygiene usually don’t expect too many surprises during their visits to the dentist. They might still encounter the stray cavity or be in need of a cleaning but usually nothing more. However, there is one thing that can sabotage even the most careful dental hygiene program. That one thing is the habit some people have of grinding their teeth. Medically the condition is called bruxism and it can result in fractured teeth, painful or loose teeth and jaw soreness. Adults and children can both develop this habit but because children’s teeth are still growing the damage caused by this condition can be especially problematic.
Several things can cause teeth grinding including stress and anxiety and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea but the most likely causes are an abnormal bite that has gone uncorrected and crooked teeth. Dentists can detect bruxism by examining your mouth for signs such as excessive wear on your teeth. This is one of the many reasons it is important to schedule regular dental visits. Fortunately, persons who have this habit can be fitted for a mouth guard to protect their teeth from the long term effects of bruxism.
Finally, according to the Massachusetts Dental Society approximately 50 to 96 percent of adults experience bruxism (tooth grinding), and children do so at a rate of about 15 percent. At Family Dental Health Plans our affordable dental plans connect you with a network of dentists from all over the country that can help control bruxism and can also help restore, replace and strengthen your teeth.