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Our teeth are fantastic tools that we use constantly throughout the day. They can bite through hard foods and break down stubborn, chewy foods. But they can also do a number on themselves if they are ground together. Find out what could happen and what you should do if you grind your teeth.

It is common for people to clench their teeth periodically. You do it without even thinking. But chronic tooth grinding, or bruxism, can cause serious damage to your teeth and complications elsewhere. It can be caused by anxiety and stress, but most commonly happens during sleep. Causes include abnormal bite, misaligned teeth, and sleep disorders.

So if it most often happens during sleep, how do you determine if you grind your teeth? A dull, constant headache or a sore jaw upon waking are two common symptoms. Grinding can also be heard by a spouse or loved one during the night. At Rivereast Dental Group, you can also be examined for signs of bruxism.

Although initial symptoms are mild, teeth grinding can lead to serious issues. Teeth can wear down, necessitating crowns, implants, root canals, or even dentures. It can also cause or aggravate temporomandibular joint disorders.

Treatment for bruxism often involves a mouth guard to use during sleep. You can also seek to reduce stress and avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which can intensify teeth grinding, and train yourself to not clench your teeth by positioning your tongue between your teeth. If you have questions about bruxism and its effects, please contact our Marlborough, CT, office today.