How teeth grinding can damage healthy teeth

Article written by Elite Dental Group

Human teeth have a protective layer called enamel that helps to protect teeth. Although a person’s enamel can handle the daily forces of biting, it will deteriorate with excessive pressure caused by teeth grinding. Restorative dentistry can help to rebuild damaged teeth caused by teeth grinding, but it is always best to protect teeth to maintain a person’s natural teeth and enamel.

Teeth grinding is a damaging habit as most patients are not aware that they are doing it. Often patients will grind their teeth when they are asleep putting undue pressure on their teeth and jaws.

Some of the main risks of teeth grinding include:

Abfraction – Abfraction occurs when a healthy tooth’s structure is lost near the gum line. The loss is not caused by decay, but due to the constant force due to teeth grinding.

Attrition – Attrition is due to a weakened tooth structure at the surface of a tooth. Patients with this condition will see changes in their tooth’s shape, experience pain, sore gums, and tooth discoloration.

Chips, cracks, and fractures – As teeth grinding weakens a person’s enamel, patients will see chips, cracks, and fractures. This will not only weaken teeth and cause teeth to break, but cracks will also cause food particles to get lodged, causing bacteria build-up and decay.

Gum recession – Gum recession is also a symptom of teeth grinding as teeth grinding causes teeth to pull away from their gum line. Patients with gum recession can have additional health problems such as root canal infections and tooth loss.

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