How Sleep-related Bruxism Affects the Teeth


Sensitivity of the teeth to temperatures is one of the most common symptoms of SRB. The excessive pressure of the clenching and grinding injures the ligaments that hold the teeth in causing hypersensitivity to temperatures, especially cold liquids and foods.
Premature breakage of fillings is common as phasic type SRB involves heavy forces in a side-to-side or front-to-back movement. This can place forces in excess of the strength of the filling materials, and they fail. This can significantly shorten the lifespan of fillings.
The vertical forces of tonic type SRB are great enough to crack or split teeth in two. When this occurs, the affected tooth must be removed.
The roots of the teeth can break or crack resulting in severe pain and inflammation of the surrounding bone and gum tissues. In most cases, the affected teeth must be removed.
Abfraction lesions form at the gum line. These are not due to heavy brushing; they are due to side-to-side SRB and adaptation of the teeth to the extreme forces. These lesions expose the sensitive root and main nerve of the tooth resulting in sensitivity to temperatures and touch. Fillings placed will often fail as the side-to-side movement breaks the adhesion of the filling to the tooth.
The teeth can wear down resulting in loss of height. The teeth can become sensitive due to exposure of the sensitive dentin as the enamel wears off on the tips of the teeth. The teeth can wear right to the gumline in extreme cases.