In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth.
The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges,
crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.
Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your
jaws, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.
What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?
Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.
If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce
your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist,
or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.
If a sleeping disorder is causing the grinding, treating it may reduce or eliminate the grinding habit.
Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:
Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day,
position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.