Gnashing is grinding or biting noisily. The phrase above is often used to mean that you are experiencing a strong emotion, sometimes in response to something that you cannot do anything to change. Gritting your teeth is a related expression which includes both grinding and clenching your teeth.
Both gnashing and gritting your teeth fall under the umbrella of bruxism. Everyone probably does this at some time in their life, and if it only occurs at isolated times, it may not be harmful to your teeth. But if it is something you do regularly, then you may develop problems with your teeth or jaws as a result.
These problems may include (but are not limited to):
- Jaw pain or discomfort (Learn more at TMD)
- Worn down teeth (Learn more at Tooth Wear)
- Broken teeth
- The need for root canal treatment on your teeth (Learn more about root canals at Root Canal Treatment)
You might develop one of these problems, several of them, or all of them.
If you know or suspect you are clenching or grinding your teeth, ask your dentist about an occlusal guard (sometimes called a night guard) that you can wear while sleeping and at other times when you’re likely to brux. The appliance will protect your teeth and may also help relieve jaw muscle tension.
You may not be able to change your habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, but you can protect them to the best of your ability with your dentist’s help.
If you clench or grind your teeth and do not have a dentist, please call my office to schedule an appointment to evaluate your mouth. Call 440-960-1940.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist located at 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. You can also contact her through her website www.drjrobb.com or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb