Your dentist has told you that you suffer from bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding. While you may already know this can cause morning headaches or jaw pain, do you know what it does to your teeth? I mean, teeth are meant to chew right? It can’t be that bad. The truth is, nighttime teeth grinding can severely damage your teeth if left untreated. But does that damage cause cavities? The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. Teeth grinding damages the enamel of your teeth, making cavities much more likely. To better understand the connection between teeth grinding and cavities, you need to understand what teeth grinding does to your teeth and how cavities develop.
What Teeth Grinding Does to Your Teeth
Your teeth are made with a strong outer layer known as the enamel. This protects the softer inner layer, known as the dentin. Enamel is made to withstand the regular motion of daily chewing as the force of your teeth is buffered by the food you eat. When you grind your teeth at night, nothing is protecting the surface of your teeth from the extreme force your jaw provides. As you grind your teeth, that force gradually wears away at the enamel, wearing it thin or even cracking holes in the enamel. This leaves your teeth susceptible to cavities.
How Teeth Grinding Contributes to Cavity Development
Here is something you might not know. Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, with over 300 different species living inside your mouth. Now, some bacteria aids in digestion and is actually good for you. However, others are responsible for causing dental decay and cavities.
As you eat, so does the bacteria. This is especially true of sugary sweets and beverages. When the bacteria eat, they leave behind a waste product or biofilm. This biofilm is a sticky material that holds on to bacteria, giving them a protective blanket against your teeth. Your enamel is made to work as a shield against this bacteria and regular brushing and flossing help remove the biofilm and plaque, keeping your teeth healthy and reducing the risk of cavities.
However, when you grind your teeth, you begin breaking away at that bacterial shield. Thin enamel or small holes and chips open the door for bacteria to enter your tooth. When the bacteria are able to enter the inner layers of the tooth, it is harder to remove and begins to decay the tooth, leading to cavities. This is how teeth grinding contributes to the development of cavities.
Preventing Damage from Bruxism
Luckily, there is something you can do to prevent the breakdown of tooth enamel and the eventual development of cavities from teeth grinding. Custom-fit teeth grinding guards, like we offer at SportingSmiles, provide a cushion between your teeth that prevents damage to the enamel when you grind at night. This cushion also helps to relax the muscles in your jaw, reducing the occurrence of morning headaches and jaw pain.
Don’t let damage to your teeth from grinding lead to cavities. Visit SportingSmiles today for a high-quality, custom-fit nightguard at a low cost to reduce your risk of cavities.
Custom-fit grinding guards are made through your dentist. He makes a mold of your teeth and then sends it out to a dental lab to make the guard. Custom-fit grinding guards through a dentist typically cost between $300 and $1000. This is a big expense but can save you thousands in dental care down the road. It’s important to note that with proper care, most teeth-grinding guards will last for 2 years before you need a replacement.
However, with teeth grinding guards from SportingSmiles, you can get that same high-quality protection without having to break the bank. Instead of visiting the dentist, you use our patented self-impression kit to make your own mold. You send that back to our dental lab in the prepaid package and our technicians make the same high-quality guard that your dentist provides. By using us, you can purchase the same guard for under $100. For more information, visit Teeth Grinding Guards today.