Clenching is a destructive habit that is to blame for a variety of teeth, jaw and gum problems. The ideal resting position for your upper and lower jaw is slightly apart.
Your upper and lower teeth should never touch, much less be clenched tightly together.
Pressure that comes from clenching causes teeth to "flex" at the gum line.
This constant pressure against your teeth and gums can make gums recede and teeth become abfracted.
Teeth can become sensitive or you may even get a toothache as a result of clenching.
Other results of constantly flexed jaw muscles include jaw soreness, headaches, and a stiff or sore neck.
Clenching causes a receding gumline. When your gums recede, the roots of your teeth become exposed.
Roots don't have enamel to protect them and are more sensitive and decay easier and faster than enamel.
Roots are always a darker color, duller and not as smooth or shiny as enamel.
Abfractions are small grooves or notches at your gumline. You can feel them when they are small. As they get bigger, you can see them.
Abfractions are tooth defects but are not cavities. They need to be repaired with a tooth colored filling if they get too deep. Repairing them prevents further damage.
Your gums will recede if you clench your teeth.
A receded gumline is not attractive, more difficult to clean, and most importantly doesn't provide support and protection to your teeth like a normal healthy gum line does.
Once gums recede too far, a surgery called a gum graft is needed.
Brushing too hard, using a firm toothbrush, or abrasive toothpaste can play a role in making abfraction and receding gum line worse.
But, many dentists believe clenching and grinding are the main causes of receding gumline and abfraction.
Because they are constantly flexed, muscles in the head and neck get tired and sore from clenching teeth.
Clenching teeth can put too much pressure on the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and cause this complicated joint to be inflamed.
Pay close attention to your teeth right before falling asleep and right after waking up and be aware of these signs of clenching:
Ask your dentist to help you indentify the signs and symptoms of clenching.
Try this relaxing moist-heat home remedy.
Teeth grinding guards provide teeth grinding protection and prevent damage from clenching too. I love this non invasive but sure way to protect your teeth.