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What Happens if Bruxism is Not Treated

Posted on 5/8/2023 by Dr. Michael Wockenfus
What Happens if Bruxism is Not TreatedBruxism is a condition that makes someone unintentionally grinds or clenches their teeth, especially when sleeping. Failure to treat bruxism can lead to serious oral problems and deteriorated general health. The following are some of the health concerns if bruxism is left untreated:

Dental Problems

Bruxism can result in extreme tooth wear and tear, leading to chipped, cracked, or worn-down teeth. This can cause teeth sensitivity, severe pain, and eventually tooth loss. Besides, this condition can damage restorations such as crowns, fillings, and bridges since they can become loose or fall out.


Teeth clenching and grinding cause a lot of tension in the neck, face, and jaw muscles, which can cause muscle stiffness and soreness, triggering severe headaches. Bruxism can also cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain that can spread to other parts of the neck and head, resulting in headaches.

Jaw Pain

Chronic teeth grinding can strain the jaw muscles, causing pain, stiffness, and potentially temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). TMJ can cause jaw clicking, eating difficulties, and even lockjaw.

Changes in Facial Appearance

If bruxism is not treated for an extended period, it can change one's facial appearance. Continuous teeth clenching and grinding causes jaw muscles to be hypertrophied and overdeveloped, resulting in a broaden-looking jawline. Besides, extreme pressure on the jawbones can make them switch and misalign over time, changing the facial asymmetry, bite, and teeth alignment.

Gum Recession

Teeth grinding induces more pressure on the teeth, gums, and other tissues. The pressure can eventually cause gum recession, in which the gums move away from the teeth, disclosing the tooth roots. The constant pressure can also wear off the teeth' enamel, leaving them prone to gum disease and decay.

Sleep Disturbances

Teeth grinding can disrupt an individual and sleep partner's sleep since it can be loud and disturbing. Also, the condition can cause a lot of discomfort, making one not fall asleep or sleep well, forcing one to wake up at night.

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Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS created a blog to educate the community. It is your resource for all dentistry questions. Learn and read topics in the blog here!
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