Bruxism, simply put, is when you grind, clench, click, or “drum” your teeth. Anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of the population are affected by it. Most people who engage in this largely involuntary habit do so while asleep. However, plenty of individuals that grind (or clench) their teeth do so while awake. It’s a damaging habit that can cause problems not only with your teeth, but also your gums, your jaw, and even your heart.
So if it’s such a bad habit, why do so many people engage in it? Because bruxism is mostly involuntary, like so many bad habits, the indications often stem from any number of causes. These include:
• Eating disorders.
• Tooth sensitivity.
• Jaw pain.
And these are just a few. The seriousness of this tendency cannot be understated. And whereas most people who have been clenching or grinding their teeth for years would rather they did not, few ever do anything to end the practice. Sadly, it often takes severe consequences to bring about a desire strong enough to lead to action sufficient to break the habit. Since knowledge and awareness help to bring about renewed determination, consider some of the costs:
• Tooth or denture damage. This can lead to gum disease, which is linked to heart disease.
• Chronic headaches.
• Jaw pain; especially TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, which affects the muscles of the jaw connected just below the ear.
• Sleep debt and other disorders.
With an ever-increasing awareness in the public sector about the correlation between dental health and overall health, dental expertise has, by necessity, been driven upward. Few are more knowledgeable than Dr. James Stewart, DDS. Contact our specialized team for evaluation of whether or not teeth clenching is threatening your oral—or overall—health.