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Have you been diagnosed with teeth grinding, also known as bruxism? Bruxism is a serious condition that should never be ignored. If allowed to progress without treatment from a dentist in Belmont, bruxism can cause serious concerns that can affect your dental, physical, and even mental health. Here is a look at the common side effects that you may experience if you ignore your teeth grinding habit:

Gum Disease

Though gum disease is often caused by poor dental cleaning habits, it can also occur as a side effect of bruxism. When the teeth are ground into each other, the gums can recede, opening pockets where bacteria and infection can fester. As infections grow, they damage the gum tissue and lead to gum disease.

Tooth Loss

Bruxism causes tooth loss in a few different ways. The most prevalent cause is through the damaging of the soft tissue; the tooth or teeth can become loose and eventually need to be removed. Bruxism may also cause fractures in the teeth. Depending on the severity of the damage, the tooth may need restoration or extraction.


When bruxism has progressed or continued for a significant amount of time, arthritis can develop in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints. These joints are responsible for opening and closing the jaw without difficulty. Arthritis is a type of chronic joint pain disease that can progress to debilitating conditions, if left untreated.

Severe Pain

There are many types of pain associated with bruxism, including arthritic pain and headaches. Due to the grinding and pressure exerted on the teeth and muscles, patients may experience severe headaches throughout the day. They may also experience neck and shoulder pain, because of the strain on the jaw and facial muscles. Patients may also notice toothaches, if their bruxism has gone untreated for long. Teeth grinding eventually wears down the teeth, shortening and blunting them. The dentin may become weakened and exposed, causing toothaches and potential tooth decay.