So, you grind your teeth. What’s the worst that can happen? If it’s occasional, then you probably don’t have anything to worry about. But if it’s consistent, and you aren’t always aware that you’re doing it, then grinding your teeth can lead to a host of problems and the need for restorative treatment.

The good news is that you don’t have to sit back and allow bruxism to destroy your teeth. With the right diagnosis and treatment, your dentist can customize a treatment to protect your teeth from grinding, especially at night while you sleep.

Is It Bruxism?

Not every case of teeth-grinding is considered bruxism. Clenching your teeth is a natural response to certain conditions, like being tense, scared, agitated, or in pain. Bruxism describes the persistent, unconscious tendency to grind your teeth without you realizing it, and for many patients, it typically occurs in their sleep.

Bruxism can be caused by a number of factors, from stress and anxiety to an imbalance in your bite or jaw joints. In moderate to severe cases, your dentist may have to address the underlying cause of your bruxism to properly treat the condition.

The Consequences

If not treated, bruxism will continue unabated, and the undue pressure and friction can cause teeth to become sensitive, excessively wear down their chewing surfaces, and potentially lead to tooth cracks and fractures. The continued pressure may also force some teeth out of alignment, and the change in your teeth’s chewing surfaces can place an undue strain on your jaw’s joints, leading to TMJ disorder.

If your teeth have already suffered damage by the time you seek treatment, then your dentist can recommend an appropriate restorative treatment, like dental crowns or porcelain veneers, to restore your teeth’s health and integrity.