Derek Dean, DDS, MS
Glen Dean, DDS
Grant Butler, DMD

Will Teeth Grinding Cause Permanent Damage?

Closeup of a brunette young woman grinding her teeth while she sleeps in a white bed

It’s normal for someone to occasionally clench their teeth when they’re nervous or stressed, or even when they’re thinking deeply. Then there are some people who clench and grind their teeth throughout the night while they’re sleeping. Chronic teeth grinding is a condition called bruxism. The problem is, even if you’re not doing it intentionally, grinding your teeth can cause lasting dental damage. Read on to learn more about bruxism.

The Effect of Grinding on Your Teeth

You can exert a lot of force when you bite down, so imagine what happens if you’re biting down not on food, but on your own teeth! Eventually, this extra pressure can chip or fracture your teeth, and wear down the outer protective layer, called enamel. The reason this damage is considered permanent is because we only get one set of permanent teeth, and enamel can’t grow back. So once a tooth has lost some of enamel from grinding, you are more vulnerable to tooth decay, sensitivity, and infection, unless you get a treatment like a dental crown or veneers to build a tooth back up.

Warning Signs of Teeth Grinding

Since bruxism often occurs when someone is sleeping, that person may not even know they have the condition until they go to a dental check-up and their dentist identifies unusual wear and tear of their teeth. However, chronic teeth grinding is commonly associated with jaw pain, morning headaches, teeth sensitivity, and feelings of stress and anxiety.

Treatment for Bruxism

If you think you might grind your teeth at night, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. Schedule a consultation here at Ruby Canyon Dental! We can provide a custom-fitted mouthguard for you to wear at night so that your teeth are kept separate, which will help your chewing muscles relax and prevent further damage to your teeth.

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