Smiling Hills Dental
Michael Alano, DDS

Is it harmful to grind your teeth while sleeping?

Grinding your teeth not only wears down your tooth enamel, it can fracture your teeth, causing sensitivity to hot and cold, tooth mobility, and even tooth loss. Studies have shown grinding your teeth is linked to headaches, dizziness, and numbing of the fingers as well as pain in your neck, shoulders, back, jaw, and ears. Continued grinding can cause permanent damage to your your teeth and joints.

Teeth grinding can also lead to serious jaw problems that include the clicking and popping of your jaw joints, as well as locking, preventing you from being able to open your mouth completely or resulting in a stuck open position.

Dr. Michael Alano has years of experience treating these conditions so that we can protect your teeth and your oral health. Oftentimes, we can relieve your symptoms using an occlusal splint, also known as a nightguard. A nightguard provides protection from damaging your teeth in addition to helping your jaw muscles (head muscles, shoulder muscles, and neck muscles) relax. This relaxation can relieve your headaches and the symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD.

When left untreated, surgery may be necessary to clear your joint and relieve your pain. In most cases, a splint will still be necessary. Prevention is the key to treating the symptoms of TMD.