Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can grinding my teeth lead to more serious health problems?"
I grind my teeth at night according to my boyfriend. Could this lead to other problems?
Grinding of the teeth is called bruxism. It is one of the most common forms of sleep disorders. If it is mild and intermittent, it is not usually a problem. However, more severe cases of teeth grinding can have major consequences for the teeth, as the can lead to a gradual wearing down of the hard enamel and exposing if the inner softer interior structures of the teeth, which can lead to cavities, tooth infections and, ultimately, tooth loss. The first step in evaluation your teeth grinding would be to go to see your dentist. You can explain to them the symptoms you are having. It may be helpful to bring your boyfriend to describe things, as you are likely totally unaware of the habit when you are doing it as it is occurring mostly during sleep. Next, your dentist will take a close look at your teeth to determine whether there is any evidence of damage. The most common type of treatment for teeth grinding is the use of a type of tooth guard or splint while sleeping at night. This, as well as other potential treatment options, is something that your dentist will be able to discuss with you.
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