Bruxism or teeth grinding is a health concern that needs to be addressed. Failure to do so may lead to possible complications that could otherwise be prevented. The mild cases of bruxism may not be a cause for concern. However, the more severe cases of teeth grinding may lead to the following complications:
1. Teeth Damage
The primary body structure affected by bruxism, is of course, the teeth. When the upper and lower teeth grind against each other, the result would be physical damages to the teeth’s surface area and in some cases even the cheeks are affected. Abnormal wear and tear, fractured crowns, and missing or broken tooth are the common damages created.
A lot of people invest so much money to get that winning smile. Some people undergo dental surgeries and restorations to improve their dentures. However, bruxism could take all these away. All the investments you made on your teeth will be lost if you suffer from teeth grinding. So if you suspect you have the bruxism condition, try to see a dentist right away. This is to prevent further damage to your teeth, which would cost you a lot of money to restore.
2. Chronic Headaches
Headaches are associated to stress. And stress is the main cause of bruxism. But more than tension and anxiety, the constant, irregular, and usually involuntary muscle movements of the mouth, jaws, and the ear also cause severe headaches. And these headaches recur intermittently. Doctors usually prescribe the usual over-the-counter medications when it comes to headaches associated to bruxism. However, these headaches could be so annoying and uncomfortable. It could also cause other health problems like sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.
3. Facial Pains
If headaches are the chief complication of bruxism, then facial pains are most likely to occur as well. Bruxism reaches as far as the head. But to get there, the face will be affected by the muscular strains first. Facial pain could cause wrinkles and skin sagging. For a woman who wants to look good and takes care of her face a lot, this complication is not acceptable. However, a few people realize this fact. They thought that teeth grinding only affects the teeth. Little they know that their head and face are affected by the condition as well.
4. Temporomandibular Disorders
Temporomandibular disorders are also referred to as TMJ disorders. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints. The TMJ is the ball and socket joint located at the sides of the head. It is the joint that joins the mandible or the jawbones, to the skull’s temporal bone. TMJ moves when a person speaks. As such, it also moves when one grinds his teeth. And because teeth grinding is usually an involuntary activity, the TMJ is moved more than it is supposed to. There are also instances wherein the joint is dislocated due to severe teeth grinding.
Try to feel your TMJ just in front of your ears. When you speak, it moves naturally as your jaw drops down and moves up again. Now try to emulate teeth grinding. The movement of the TMJ is different. The TMJ can accommodate side movements of the jaw. But if it is done frequently and with too much pressure, problems may occur with it over time.
5. Bite Changes
If you suffer from bruxism, your bite will eventually change. The sharpness of your teeth may fade and your teeth might squeak as you eat. Because of these changes, you are forced to change your bite when eating to use the undamaged part of your teeth. Problems like these may cause you to lose appetite. This could be a major concern with children, as they tend not to gain the nutrients they require.
These are the harmful complications of teeth clenching. Don’t allow these complications to lead to further health risks. It’s wise to attend to them immediately.