What are the Long-Term Effects of Grinding Teeth?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism, can result in damaged teeth and jaw problems. Those who grind their teeth may also have face pain or sensitivity, gum pain, sleep issues, headaches, earaches or TMJ. Teeth grinding usually happens at night while sleeping and often happens because the person is stressed, has an abnormal bite or a number of other dental problems.

Often, those who grind their teeth do not know they're doing it. Due to the noise and pain, they may wake themselves up in the middle of the night or have a sleep disruption they don't notice at the time but may be suspicious of during the day. Those sleeping in the room will often notice the noisy problem first.

One of the major problems of grinding teeth is loose, broken or missing teeth. Some people grind their teeth so hard they actually knock their teeth loose or cause them to fall out altogether. Others may chip or crack their teeth, dentures or restorations. Considering the cost of restorations and dentures, the initial cost combined with the need to replace or repair them can be quite a lot of money.

Face pain and sensitivity is another problem of grinding teeth. The constant grinding over a long period can irritate the nerves and cause pain in the muscles from the pressure. The pain may be temporary or be an ache that can last quite awhile.


Grinding teeth can also result in receding gums accompanied by pain. Expensive surgery is typically needed to repair this condition. This can apply for real and false teeth.

Headaches and earaches are another problem associated with grinding teeth. The extreme force from constantly grinding the teeth together, especially at night, can result in a constant pain in the head or ears. Considering people typically grind their teeth at night, during the day is when the pain is most likely to come about.

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, can also happen as a result of teeth grinding. The pain it causes is typically felt in the neck or head and there can be difficulty opening the mouth correctly. The muscles around the joint may also become severely painful.

Treatments for teeth grinding usually involve a mouth guard, which a person uses at night while sleeping. They not only prevent further damage and help reduce pain, but they also stop the noise from grinding. Other options may include hypnosis or medicine.


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Post 2

@spotiche5- You dentist should be able to take tooth impressions and make a mouth guard for you that will fit and work perfectly. If your dentist doesn't make mouth guards, then he or she will refer you to an oral surgeon who can.

Post 1

Should I ask my dentist about having a mouth guard made for my tooth grinding? I have tried using cheap mouth guards, but they didn't work for me.

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