There are many reasons why grinding your teeth should concern you. For example, if it’s a severe condition (such as bruxism), then it could lead to substantial damage to your teeth if you don’t address it. However, occasionally grinding your teeth together isn’t the same as having bruxism, and resolving it may not require professional bruxism treatment. Today, we take a look at the difference between a teeth-grinding a habit and a bruxism problem, and what you may be able to do to control the habit.

Why teeth-grinding can be a problem

Your teeth are incredibly strong. In fact, the enamel that surrounds them is strongest substance that your body produces, and when healthy, it’s more resilient than any other known material besides diamond. However, that doesn’t mean it’s as indestructible as diamond. One of the biggest reasons why bruxism is such a problem is because the incessant grinding of your teeth can wear down or damage this protective layer, leaving your teeth exposed to dangers like oral bacteria. The risks of this are lower if you only occasionally grinding your teeth, though they’re still present, making it a good idea to try to stop doing it, if possible.

When it’s something you can stop yourself

For people who don’t have bruxism, grinding their teeth together can be a nervous habit, or a response to things like stress or physical pain. If it’s a nervous tic, then it may occur more often than usual, which may make you believe that you have a more serious case of bruxism. The good news is that, absent bruxism, many cases of persistent teeth-grinding can be addressed by finding out the cause of it and taking steps to address it. For instance, if it’s stress, then lowering your stress levels by finding ways to relax can reduce your grinding habit. If it’s a nervous tic, then learning to be conscious of the times you grind your teeth and making an effort to stop can help you train yourself to break the habit.

When you might need some assistance

Unfortunately, people who suffer from bruxism don’t usually have a way to stop grinding their teeth for good. In fact, they’re less likely to notice that they grind their teeth, for several different reasons. For instance, bruxism patients often grind their teeth more often at night then the day, and when they do, the pressure can be much more intense. Symptoms like increasing teeth sensitivity, changes in your bite due to tooth wear, and more might indicate more severe teeth-grinding than you expected, and a potential need for personalized bruxism treatment.

Learn how to handle your teeth-grinding

Not every case of teeth-grinding requires professional attention, but if you do it often enough, then you should consider taking steps to stop. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS, today at 913-681-5500.