This habit can be harmful to your oral health
Teeth grinding or clenching is an involuntary habit that many people are unaware they do. It frequently occurs while sleeping and can be caused by stress, anxiety, sleep disorders or an uneven bite. Waking with headaches, jaw pain or chronic face pain may be the first indicators of teeth grinding during sleep.
Studies have shown that grinding or clenching teeth while asleep uses up to 130x the force of normal chewing. This continual trauma puts enormous stress on teeth and the muscles of the face, neck and back, which can lead to a host of health problems such as headaches, enlargement of facial muscles, earaches and joint inflammation.
Chronic teeth grinding can wear down surface enamel, shorten the life of your teeth, and lead to fractures, chips, cracked fillings and loss of teeth. This can result in crowns, implants, dentures and other costly dental procedures.
During your dental check-up, ask your dentist or hygienist if they see signs of too much wear on your tooth enamel. Discuss headaches or any jaw pain that you have been experiencing. Your dental professional can provide suggestions to help stop this destructive habit.