Have you ever woken up to creaking and popping noises coming from your teeth? Does your jaw feel tight or painful in the morning for no obvious reason? Do you notice your teeth becoming chipped or flattened? Well, these might be some of the signs that teeth grinding is already part of your life. 

A recent DentaVox study, joined by 5568 respondents, showed that nearly half of the people are aware they grind their teeth while another 14% don’t know about it. But how aware are people of the numerous myths surrounding this topic? 

Well, let’s see the answers and compare them to experts’ findings! 

 

#1: Once developed, teeth grinding lasts forever: MYTH

Once a grinder, always a grinder? Apparently, 18% of DentaVox respondents think so. 

But we have good news here. Firstly, nearly half of the children with bruxism stop it spontaneously. Secondly, there are therapies for teeth grinding that vary depending on the primary cause of it. Consult your dentist to define the right treatment. 

 

#2: Splints/mouthguards will surely stop teeth grinding: MYTH

Over 60% of DentaVox survey participants believe that mouthguards are the solution to teeth grinding. 

Splints and mouthguards are designed to reduce the pressure on the jaw and protect teeth from further damage. However, they do not tackle the underlying cause but rather just help relieve the symptoms. Pro tip: If you are advised to wear a mouthguard, always go for a custom-made one. Ready-made splints may lead to even more discomfort and oral health issues, as they are simply not made to fit your jaw. 

 

#3: Excessive stress can cause bruxism: FACT

Is teeth grinding a strictly physical condition or can emotions also affect it? One of the most common misconceptions on the topic is that bruxism has mainly physical causes such as missing teeth, overbite, sleep disorders, etc. The truth is emotions can play just as big a role. 

Stress and anxiety are common factors contributing to teeth grinding and the majority of respondents (84%) recognize that. See what other factors impact it. 

teeth grinding myths and facts img

 

#4: Teeth grinding wears down teeth: FACT

Bruxism doesn’t go without its visual harms on the teeth. And it’s often not until the teeth start visibly wearing down that people realize they have a problem. 

This is not a surprise as 9 in 10 DentaVox survey participants correctly recognize this as a sign for teeth grinding. Friendly reminder: Don’t skip your biannual dental checkups and you will not have to wait for this 

 

#5: Bruxism goes hand in hand with chronic headaches or jaw pain: MYTH

A bit over 70% of respondents believe that headaches and jaw pain are the destiny of everyone who suffers from teeth grinding. 

Although these are often signs of teeth grinding, it doesn’t mean that having bruxism entitles you to never-ending pain. Studies have shown that headaches and jaw pain are experienced by roughly 60% of patients, so there is a decent number of people who live without it. Moreover, both are just symptoms and finding the underlying cause and the right therapy will make them go away. 

 

#6: Botox injections can be used to treat bruxism: FACT

Botulinum toxin, commonly known as botox, is often perceived as strictly applicable to the beauty industry only. Most of the DentaVox interviewees share that they do not imagine botox injections being used to treat bruxism; just 26% are aware of this possibility. 

In fact, this is among the innovative methods applied to relieve clenching. It works by injecting a small amount into the muscles that are responsible for moving the jaw. 

 

#7: Bad posture can affect bruxism negatively: FACT

Bad posture and teeth grinding? What could these two have in common? Well, according to 26% of survey participants – absolutely nothing. 

According to experts, however, any kind of misalignment in the body negatively influences the body parts connected to it. Poor posture leads to misaligned back and neck which ultimately affects the connected temporomandibular joints. They, on the other hand, are the ones connecting your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. This is how bad posture can indirectly cause issues such as misaligned jaw, teeth grinding, and even mouth breathing. Next time you hunch your shoulders, think about this all-connected system that is your body.

 

#8: Grinding teeth at night is not a big deal: MYTH

Grinding teeth at night is so common that it is sometimes perceived as normality. This is also confirmed by the 13% of respondents who believe it is just not a big deal and doesn’t deserve special attention. 

However, continuous bruxism can cause numerous problems to your teeth and jaws if not timely addressed, such as tooth breakage, enamel erosion, jaw pain, and more. If you suspect you might have bruxism, look out for these signs and don’t wait to consult your dentist.

teeth grinding myths and facts img

 

#9: Teeth grinding may lead to dental implant failure: FACT

Bruxism affects not only natural but also artificial teeth. Dental restorations are made to mimic your natural teeth in the best way possible. Fillings, crowns, bridges can go through breakage if you have bruxism and you don’t – at least – wear a mouthguard. 

Not only that, but teeth grinding can also compromise the success of the more expensive dental implant treatment, and 73% of DentaVox interviewees are aware of this fact. This is especially true for the initial healing period when the dental implant is supposed to fuse within the jawbone tissue. Excessive pressure caused by bruxism can hinder this process. That doesn’t mean that grinders cannot have implants; they just need to follow the recommendations of their dentist. 

 

#10: If left untreated, teeth grinding can cause tooth decay: FACT

Although most agree (57%), a significant share of respondents is doubtful about the chance of untreated bruxism to cause tooth decay. 

And we get it. Tooth decay is primarily caused by eating the wrong foods and not having proper hygiene, right? Well, not exactly. Continuous teeth grinding leads to enamel loss and cracks teeth over time. This leaves your teeth more susceptible to cavities. 

 

Which of those myths and facts were you aware of?

Share in the comments below!

You don’t feel like commenting? While you are still on the topic, why don’t you:

📝 TAKE THE SURVEY | 📊 CHECK ALL STATS LIVE

 

Stats source: DentaVox
20 Questions: Teeth Grinding
Base: 5568 respondents (global sample)
Period: 06/01-16/02/2022