We’ve talked about mouthguards in the past and how they can help safeguard your teeth while you sleep and may be unaware of the clenching and grinding you do then. Clenching and grinding can lead to any number of problems with your teeth.
“Clenching and grinding is one of the most destructive things you can do to your teeth,” says Dr. Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, of the American Dental Association. With normal chewing, teeth touch for mere milliseconds, suffering very little stress. But clenching and grinding puts tremendous pressure on your teeth for extended periods.
That strain “can eventually cause damage and cracks and fractures of your teeth,” says Harms. If those fractures expose the weaker dentin, tooth decay can form at a faster rate. “Typically grinding and clenching lead to the need for crowns to restore the fractured tooth or root canal therapy to treat the traumatized nerve.”
If you feel you have a problem with clenching and grinding, you may want to explore getting a mouthguard for when you sleep. While awareness during waking hours may minimize any clenching and grinding, you really have no control while you sleep.
We’d be happy to discuss mouthguards with you if it is a subject you feel you need to explore. Feel free to call us anytime or discuss it during your next visit.
And brush and floss!