What happens if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth?

Stop everything you are doing now. Did you also stop clenching your teeth together? If the answer is yes, you are among the estimated 20% population of the world that suffers from the same condition.

Bruxism or grinding your teeth is a pretty common condition based on the numbers. In fact even you, yes you, may be affected by it, but are unaware of it. The same studies report that 20% of the people estimated to have this condition are unaware of it.

What Is Bruxism?

In simple terms, Bruxism is the habit of clenching your teeth and rubbing the bottom jaw on the top either while asleep or awake. This happens due to two major factors, stress and age.

Young children are often suffering from bruxism. However, most outgrow it. Adults can pick up the habit while doing stressful tasks like lifting heavy weights or other mentally challenging tasks.

What Are The Effects Of Bruxism?

Dentzz Dental and other dental facilities lists some of the effects of grinding your teeth:

Source — Pinterest_dentaltown

Sensitivity- Bruxism can become a cause of fracturing, and increased sensitivity of teeth if unchecked for a long time. This is caused by constant friction that wears down enamel between the teeth making them sensitive.

Teeth loss- While normally the fluoride from natural sources repairs tooth enamel automatically. Long term grinding can result in loss of teeth altogether requiring implants or bridges.

Damage to jaw joint- Constant jaw clenching and unclenching can cause your jaw joint to wear down over time. This can affect the way your face looks as well as be painful in some cases.

Disrupt deep sleep and its benefits- You might know the benefits of a deep sleep. It is during this phase that your body repairs itself. Human growth hormone, regenerating damaged cells, building muscles and bone are some of the things that take place while you are in deep sleep.

Because that is a state in which all your muscles are in a relaxed state, sudden clenching of jaw muscles lead to a lack of deep sleep and conditions like sleep apnea.

You may be sleeping for eight hours but it would be more like being unconscious for eight hours instead of sleeping. You would not have any benefits of deep sleep.

Lack of energy- People who wake up and are still drowsy after the initial period are a solid example of what lack of deep sleep does to your body. This can lead to serious health complications.

Conditions like heart attack, high blood pressure, and depression are common among people, later in life with lack of quality sleep because of bruxism.

Even though grinding your teeth is a serious problem, it is easily managed with proper consultation by a doctor and some lifestyle changes.