Americans are more stressed than they ever have been before according to a study from the American Psychological Association. One symptom of stress is teeth grinding, aka bruxism, and I see a fair amount of patients who jeopardize their dental health by grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw.
This doesn’t always happen due to stress while the body is awake, but often I see patients who are sleeping and clench their jaw or grind their teeth throughout the night.
Loss of Sleep
What many patients do not realize is that teeth grinding is one of the biggest reasons for a lost night’s sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a chronic condition that affects a person’s ability to sleep through the night leading to weak, dizzy, sleepy, and general exhaustion feelings.
A dental screening is the most simple and effective way to determine whether or not you need to do something about potential grinding. Dentists are able to look at a jaw for signs such as flattened teeth, loose teeth, or even fractured teeth. Long periods of grinding teeth can lead to tooth loss or hearing loss so it is important for your health to get examined and determine your risk.
Preserve your Dental Health
If it is found that you do grind your teeth excessively or too much (or you know that you do) the dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to wear while you sleep and that will protect your teeth from the grinding that your jaw is doing. Regardless of the state of your teeth, it is imperative that you consider the dangers of your overall dental health including tooth loss and hearing loss.
The best way to assess the condition of your grinding teeth is to visit your local dentist office and let them take a look. It’s always better to take preventive action than to try to correct damage already done later on in life.