Does Teeth Grinding Cause Cavities – The Latest Insights for 2024

Does teeth grinding cause cavities-The latest insights for 2024
Aesthetic Gingivectomy
The answer isn't a mere yes or no, but those who grind their teeth are at higher risk for cavities.

Teeth grinding, known as bruxism, is more common than many of us realize. Often happening without us knowing, during sleep or when we’re deeply focused, it might seem like a harmless habit. Some may think, “Teeth are strong; they’re made for chewing, so how bad can it be?” The truth is, grinding your teeth can really harm your teeth over time. Now you may wonder whether teeth grinding could cause more cavities? The answer isn’t very straightforward, but those who grind their teeth are at higher risk for cavities.

In this article, we’ll explore how teeth grinding connects to cavities, revealing its impact on our teeth and sharing ways to safeguard our dental health.

Understanding Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, occurs both when you’re awake, often due to stress or concentration, and during sleep. It’s a common issue, primarily caused by stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders.

Grinding your teeth can really hurt the teeth because it wears away the hard outer layer called enamel. This layer is what keeps your teeth safe from cavities. When you grind your teeth, you’re putting a lot of pressure on them, more than they’re used to. This can make the enamel get thin, crack, or even break off. Without enough enamel, your teeth can get cavities easier.

Bruxism can also disrupt the normal function of saliva. Saliva helps to wash away food particles and repair early enamel erosion. However, teeth grinding causes dehydration in the mouth and thus reduces protective effects of saliva and makes the teeth more vulnerable to cavities.

How Teeth Grinding Affects Dental Health

When people grind their teeth, they can wear away the hard, protective layer called enamel. This makes teeth more likely to get cavities because enamel is what protects them from decay. Grinding a lot over time can also cause small cracks and breaks in the teeth, making cavities and other tooth problems more likely.

Grinding too much can also make teeth loose, chip, or even break. Plus, it can make the muscles and joints in your jaw hurt, leading to issues with the jaw joint (called TMJ disorders) that can cause pain and trouble moving your jaw. Regular dental check-ups can help spot teeth grinding early so you can get help before it causes bigger problems.

Effects of Nutrition on Bruxism

Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D, strengthens the teeth and can diminish some of the detrimental effects of teeth grinding, such as enamel erosion and increased exposure to cavities.

On the contrary, a diet high in sugary and acidic foods can exacerbate these issues by promoting bacterial growth and acid production in the mouth, leading to further enamel degradation. Therefore, maintaining a nutritious diet is crucial for individuals who grind their teeth, as it supports oral health and can help reduce the risk of developing dental complications associated with bruxism.

Preventative Measures and Treatments

One of the most effective preventative measures is the use of custom-fit nightguards, which act as a barrier between the teeth to prevent wear and tear caused by grinding.

Stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, regular exercise, and yoga, can also be beneficial in minimizing the frequency of teeth grinding by addressing one of its root causes.

Furthermore, regular dental check-ups are crucial. These appointments allow for the early detection of signs of bruxism and the implementation of preventive strategies before significant damage occurs.

When it comes to treating cavities caused by bruxism, several options are available, depending on the severity of the tooth decay.

Fillings are commonly used to restore the tooth’s structure lost to cavities, effectively sealing off spaces where bacteria can enter.

For more extensive damage, crowns may be necessary to entirely cover and protect the damaged tooth.

In cases where the decay has reached the tooth’s nerve, more advanced dental procedures, such as root canal treatment, might be required to remove the infected tissue and preserve the tooth.

Consequences of Teeth Grinding

Untreated bruxism can lead to a range of dental and health issues beyond cavities:

One significant consequence is TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, which manifest as pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles controlling jaw movement. This can result in difficulty chewing, jaw pain, and even changes in how the upper and lower teeth fit together.

Additionally, the constant pressure can cause teeth to crack, weaken the teeth and lead to more severe dental problems.

Another issue associated with bruxism is receding gums, where the gum tissue pulls back from the tooth, exposing the root to potential decay and infection.

Consequences of teeth grinding: TMJ disorders, Receding gums, and Teeth Cracks

The Impact of Teeth Grinding on Orthodontic Work

The excessive force applied during grinding can cause early damage to braces or other devices meant to straighten your teeth. For people with braces, grinding might make the brackets come off or bend the wires. For those using clear aligners, grinding could make them work less well by changing their shape. So, it’s very important for anyone getting their teeth straightened to take care of this grinding issue. Dentists might suggest wearing a nightguard along with the braces or aligners to help protect against the grinding damage.

Over-the-Counter vs. Custom-Fit Nightguards

When looking for protection from teeth grinding, people can choose between over-the-counter and custom-fit nightguards.

Over-the-counter nightguards offer a convenient and immediate solution, available at most pharmacies without the need for a dental appointment. However, they are one-size-fits-all and may not provide the perfect fit for every mouth, potentially leading to discomfort.

In contrast, custom-fit nightguards are designed by dental professionals based on impressions of the individual’s teeth. This personalized approach ensures a precise fit, offering optimal comfort and effective protection against the damage caused by teeth grinding. Custom-fit nightguards may come at a higher initial cost compared to their over-the-counter counterparts. But their superior fit and effectiveness in preventing dental damage make them a worthwhile investment for those suffering from bruxism.

Using night-guards can protect from teeth grinding


Teeth grinding can indeed increase the risk of cavities, but there are various resources available for those seeking help. Your first point of contact should be your dentist, who can assess the extent of damage and recommend treatment options.

For those in Tehran, Dr. Noorbakhsh Dental Center offers specialized dental services. After an initial visit they can recommend a high-quality, custom-fit nightguard at a low cost to reduce your risk of cavities.

Beyond dental care, consulting with a psychologist can assist in managing the stress that often contributes to teeth grinding. Also a physiotherapist can offer strategies to relieve the physical symptoms. Remember, addressing bruxism is a crucial step in preventing cavities and ensuring the overall health of your teeth. Don’t let damage to your teeth from grinding lead to cavities.


Latest News

subscribe to newsletter

Quick Answer: Typically, one to three hours for minor procedures like fillings and several hours for more extensive treatments such as root canals or extractions. Dent...
Introduction Oral cancer refers to any cancer found in the mouth area, including the lips, tongue, and cheeks. This type of cancer can significantly affect eating, spe...
A gap-free, perfectly aligned smile once was a dream reserved for the few. But, now it is an achievable reality thanks to dental bonding for gaps. Whether it’s t...
Everyone knows smoking and sparkly teeth don’t exactly go hand in hand. You might think, “Why not just quit?” But quitting is easier said than done, ...
Short answer: Floss, Rinse, and Finally Brush. Just like following steps in a recipe ensures your dish turns out delicious, the order in which you clean your teeth is ...
We all know brushing and flossing daily is important, But did you know that it is not just for keeping your teeth shiny and avoiding bad breath and cavities? Have you ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *