Grinding teeth or bruxism, can be very mild or severe. If you have a very mild case of grinding teeth, you may choose to do nothing about it. Your teeth may never show any real signs of wear and doing nothing is the correct decision. However, if you have a more severe case of bruxism, failure to make any changes may lead to many possible complications that could have been avoided. Some of these complications are:
1) The most obvious result of grinding teeth is damage to your teeth. Over time the enamel is worn down and your teeth become more exposed. Teeth grinding can also cause cracking of your teeth and other damage that will need to be addressed. It may very well be more expensive to take care of these problems after they happen than to prevent them in the first place.
2) The damage being caused to your teeth may cause your bite to be altered somewhat. This is a problem that also affects the jaw and can cause pain there. This can be especially harmful to children as they may not be able to adequately explain the pain or discomfort they are feeling. This bite change and pain can also affect their eating habits and they might not want to eat and get the nutrients they need.
3) TMJ disorders - Temporomandibular is the ball and socket joint that is positioned at the sides of your head and it connects your jawbone to your skull. The TMJ is moves constantly when a person speaks or eats. Grinding teeth repeatedly can have a big effect on the TMJ and can result in complications to the joints.
4) Headaches can become a problem if you do a lot of grinding teeth at night. Stress is thought to often play a part in bruxism and stress and headaches go hand in hand. Excessive teeth grinding can also cause many other problems related to your health such as loss of sleep, depression, and anxiety.