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South Valley Oral and Facial Surgery

The Long-Term Effects of Ignoring Your Bruxism

Posted on 3/8/2021 by Dr McMurray
The Long-Term Effects of Ignoring Your BruxismBruxism, characterized by teeth grinding, is a condition that mostly affects middle-aged individuals in society. In women, the condition is linked to stress. Other risk factors of bruxism include excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco; therefore, cutting back consumption may reduce the symptoms. Most individuals are unaware of their teeth grinding at night unless their partner tells them. Others rely on the short-term symptoms such as mild headaches, earache, sleep disruption, and teeth sensitivity to detect the condition. If diagnosed early, bruxism is manageable, but it can cause long-term side effects such as TMD and migraines if untreated.

Migraine and Dental Problems

It is common to experience headaches, especially after waking up, if you have bruxism. If untreated, these headaches may become severe, disrupting your normal life. Bruxism also causes facial tension, especially around the jaw area due to the grinding. In the long term, bruxism will cause tooth wear and loss. The grinding wears out the enamel, exposing the inner tooth structure to infection that may result in tooth loss. If grinding occurs on the front teeth, individuals will suffer from a gummy smile, affecting their self-esteem, confidence, and social life.

Temporomandibular Disorder

Teeth grinding strains the jaw muscles, and, over time, you will hear clicking and popping sounds when you open or close your mouth. If untreated, this tightness will make it difficult for you to open or close your mouth properly and result in bite problems. Eventually, you will have limited movement in your jaw area accompanied by pain and may be difficult to manage. Given the above long-term effects, it is important to address your bruxism as soon as you notice it, as it will help you prevent tooth loss and long-term headaches, and jaw pain. For details and treatment of long-term bruxism symptoms, contact our office today.
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