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Here’s What Happens When You Grind Your Teeth Too Much

Did you know?

Thirty to forty million Americans grind their teeth at night. That’s roughly 10% of the population.

Every time you grind your teeth, you’re exerting as much as 200 pounds of pressure per square inch. That’s 10 times the force you exert on your teeth when you chew normally.

All that pressure from grinding can lead to extensive teeth damage, requiring root canals, implants, or dentures.

The worst part? You could be a teeth grinder and not even know it.

(RELATED: Bullying Can Lead to Teeth Grinding in Children)

Not Just Teeth That Take a Beating

If you suffer from chronic grinding, also called bruxism in the medical community, you could be grinding your teeth for up to 40 minutes for every hour you’re asleep. That’s enough to cause headaches and a sore jaw in the morning, and if you keep it up every night, it could permanently damage your jaw.

Researchers estimate that 20% of teeth grinders have symptoms of a painful jaw condition called TMD. TMD affects the movement of your temporomandibular joints. These joints connect your jaw to your skull, helping you eat, chew, and talk. But when you grind your teeth incessantly, you can overwork these joints.

(RELATED: How Alcohol, Caffeine, Smoking, and Drug Abuse Relate to Nighttime Teeth Grinding)

Effects on Appearance and Hearing

Ladies, listen up! One study found that when these muscles work overtime, they become tender and enlarged, making your face look more square and masculine.

Additionally, the sound of grinding teeth could be enough to damage your hearing. Researchers who examined 400 university students found a strong correlation between grinding and tinnitus. Tinnitus is a hearing condition that causes ringing in your ears and can lead to hearing loss.

(RELATED: Is Childhood Teeth Grinding Normal? Could It Lead to Headaches?)

Diagnosis is Important

The scariest part of all of this, unless your partner hears you grinding your teeth at night, you might not even realize you’re doing it until your dentist notices the damage. And while there’s no simple cure for bruxism, there’s still hope.

As a leading TMJ/TMD dentist in Pasadena, I encourage you to pick up the phone and call Pasadena Pain Management for a FREE teeth grinding consultation. You can also schedule an appointment online. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

(RELATED: Beating Bruxism: Best Ways to Treat Teeth Grinding

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers sleep apnea and pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.