How Tooth Grinding Affects Your Dental Health

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Bruxism, commonly known as tooth grinding, is a common habit that can have serious consequences for dental health. Unfortunately, patients often do not realize that they grind their teeth. Here is what bruxism can cause and how you can tell if you grind your teeth.

Effects of Bruxism on Oral Health

Over time, bruxism can damage teeth and the tissues that hold them in place. As enamel is worn away, the teeth may become sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, and sour foods. Without full enamel coverage, the teeth are also more prone to cavities. Damaged periodontal ligaments can allow teeth to loosen and fall out.

Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism

Bruxism is commonly tied to stress. While some patients grind their teeth while they are awake, most do it while they are asleep, preventing them from stopping it. Patients may awaken with sore jaw joints due to the strain. Eventually, patients may also have sensitive teeth and higher dental costs as their tooth enamel is worn away.

Our dentist may recommend custom mouth guards, medications, and restorative care depending on the cause and extent of bruxism and the damage it has caused. Patients can visit our dentist in Houston to have their teeth examined for signs of teeth grinding.

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Effects of Dental Health on the Heart

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Research has shown that dental health is linked to health in the rest of the body, particularly in the heart. If you have dental problems, you may be more likely to suffer from heart problems at some point as a direct result. Below, you can learn more about this connection, which highlights the importance of good oral habits and general dentistry.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Diseased gums are the oral factor most clearly linked to heart problems. According to researchers, periodontal bacteria can enter the blood stream from inside the mouth and raise inflammation in the blood vessels. In fact, stroke and atherosclerosis have both been linked to oral bacteria.

More Connections Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Periodontitis may also harm the heart through its links with diabetes and endocarditis. Diabetes is strongly associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Endocarditis, an infection of the heart lining, can result from oral bacteria traveling to the heart through the blood stream.

Brushing, flossing, and visiting our dentist regularly holds benefits for your heart as well as your teeth and gums. By scheduling a consultation with our cosmetic dentist in Houston you can learn more about the importance of dental wellness for overall health.