Bruxism is a very common condition. Approximately 8 - 10 % of the population suffers from this condition and the vast majority don't even know they have it.
How can you grind your teeth and not realize it, you may ask. Well the reason is that many people do this in their sleep. They can do it for years and never realize that the jaw pain or the headache they wake up with are a result of bruxism.
When you grind your teeth, or clench your teeth in your sleep you are exerting six times the force that regular biting puts on your teeth. You are applying 240 pounds of force per square inch on your teeth.
How Does This Affect My Dentures?Your dentures aren't as strong as your natural teeth. If you wear your dentures to bed and then you grind or clench your teeth you are exerting the same force on your dentures that you would on your natural teeth.
But don't think that's only the case when you clench and grind at night. The same thing happens when you do it while you are awake. This incredible force can crack your dentures and require that you get them replaced.
Obviously, when you sleep you have no control over what you do. But once you find out that you have bruxism, you should let your dentist know.
There are appliances you can wear at night that will keep you from damaging your teeth or dentures. Of course, if you don't wear your dentures to bed you won't have that problem at all.
Please contact our office if you have any questions about your dentures.