How Clenching Your Teeth Can Cause Long-Term Damage
Posted on 1/20/2020 by Office
If you wake up with a sore jaw, it may mean that you're dealing with bruxism. This condition occurs when you clench and grind your jaw during the night.
While it may seem like the only negative side effect is a sore jaw in the morning, bruxism can actually cause much more long-term damage to your teeth. Here are a few of the ways clenching your teeth is damaging.
It Can Cause Teeth to Crack
Putting your teeth under pressure every night for hours can slowly wear down their durability. You may wake up one morning to find that you've clenched your teeth so much that you've actually caused one to crack. This can cause you a lot of pain, especially when eating or drinking. It also leaves a way for bacteria to get into the tooth and then into your bloodstream, causing infections and other conditions.
It Wears Your Teeth Down
Even if your teeth don't crack, clenching your jaw a lot can slowly wear them down. Your bite will actually change over the years as your teeth slowly become worn at the top. Eventually, you may even wear off all of the enamel o n the tops of your teeth, leaving them without any protection from plaque and tartar.
It can also cause your teeth to become misaligned, especially if you're missing a tooth. The clenching can push the teeth on either side of the space inward, resulting in a misaligned bite.
It Damages the Jaw
Another complication of clenching your teeth occurs in your jaw. It can damage the temporomandibular joint, leading to TMJ conditions. These disorders can lead to changes in your bite and can even make it difficult to talk and chew food.
If you clench your teeth a lot, you may have already damaged them in some way. Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss this bad habit and how you can change it.