Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause a number of long-term effects on your teeth and jaw. Some of the most common long-term effects of teeth grinding include:
- Worn-down or flattened teeth: When you grind your teeth, you are applying a significant amount of force on your teeth, which can cause the enamel (the hard, outer layer of your teeth) to wear down. Over time, this can cause your teeth to become flattened and worn down, leading to a more aged appearance.
- Damage to the inside of the cheek: Grinding your teeth can cause the muscles in your jaw to contract and relax repeatedly, leading to a chewing motion. This can cause the inside of your cheek to become damaged from being repeatedly bitten.
- Headaches and earaches: Teeth grinding can cause the muscles in your jaw to become strained and sore. This can lead to headaches and earaches, as the muscles in your jaw are connected to the muscles in your head and ears.
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing: Over time, teeth grinding can cause your teeth to become misaligned or damaged, making it difficult to chew and swallow food properly.
- Sleep disturbances: Teeth grinding can make it difficult to sleep, as it can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw. Additionally, grinding your teeth can make a loud, grinding noise that can disturb your sleep and the sleep of those around you.
If you are experiencing teeth grinding, it is important to talk to your dentist or healthcare provider to determine the cause and find an appropriate treatment.
Teeth grinding can cause long-term damage to the teeth and jaw, so it is important to address it as soon as possible.