Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. When teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.
If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.
In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. Chronic grinding may wear your teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.
Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.
If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.