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4 Misconceptions About Teeth Grinding

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The American Sleep Association estimates that roughly 10% of people grind their teeth during the night. This condition, known as bruxism, is commonly misunderstood, in large part because it occurs unconsciously. In fact, many people do not know that they have bruxism until the symptoms become more advanced or a dentist notices minor symptoms during a routine examination. Below, expert dentists Dr. Lance Porter and Dr. Will Warren sort through some of bruxism’s most prevalent misconceptions.

1) “Bruxism Is a Harmless Condition”

One night of clenching teeth may not be a problem, but the cumulative effects of habitual teeth grinding can cause some significant health problems. Patients with bruxism are liable to crack, chip, or wear down their teeth. They are also more susceptible to jaw disorders like TMJ and receding gums. To protect their oral health for the long term, patients with bruxism should take their condition seriously.

2) “Bruxism Is Caused by Stress”

Indeed, bruxism is often linked to stress, so finding ways to relieve your daily anxiety may help to relieve nighttime clenching. However, bruxism may be attributed to any number of causes, which include alcohol consumption, sleep apnea, having an overbite, genetics, medication use, etc. 

3) “Bruxism Is a Phase That People Grow Out Of”

Sometimes, people do find that their teeth grinding fades away on its own over time. Children are especially likely to mature out of the bruxism phase. However, most people, particularly adults, are not so fortunate. Bruxism can continue indefinitely without treatment, which is why it is so important for patients to seek advice from a dentist on how to get the condition under control.

4) “Bruxism Cannot Be Treated”

While it’s true that there is no one treatment that can be applied to all patients and produce guaranteed results, that does not mean that bruxism cannot be treated. Your dentist may recommend/try a few different options to find out what solution is most effective for you. Exercises, oral appliances (mouth guards), and various therapies may be successful at stopping or reducing nighttime teeth grinding.  If a sleep partner has informed you that you clench your teeth at night, or you suspect you may have bruxism, it is time to seek the help and opinion of a knowledgeable dentist. At Porter Dental Health Clinic, our talented dentists can diagnose the problem and find a solution that protects your teeth and gums so you can enjoy good oral health throughout your life. For an appointment, please call (501) 624-2778 today.

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Dental Health Office in Hot Springs, AR

1919 Malvern Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71901

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