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Steinberg Dental Team 2023

Grinding Your Teeth Is Not Fine

Question submitted by Abby:

I need some advice. I have two back teeth that are hurting. They feel like someone is pulling on them briefly and then giving up. I do grind my teeth, but my dentist says that is fine. He also says there are no cavities. Can you think of what is causing the tooth pain?  I’m at a loss. It’s not unbearable, but is distracting and has me worried. I have never had a cavity and do not know what they feel like.


Dear Abby,

An image of a woman grabbing her jaw in pain

I am very glad you wrote. I am a bit concerned you are not with the best dentist for you. If you are grinding your teeth, then everything is not fine for reasons we will go into in a moment.

Without seeing the condition of your teeth and/or x-rays, it would be hard for me to tell you what is going on with the pain you are feeling, but I definitely want you to get a second opinion. Quality dental care is about more than just checking for decay. Your dentist should check for signs of oral cancer, gum disease, and even teeth grinding. Your dentist knows that you are grinding your teeth and doing nothing. I’m worried you are not getting adequate care on the other aspects as well.

The Danger of Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth or Bruxism, to use the technical name, can lead to TMJ Disorder and will eventually grind your teeth down to nubs. The treatment for that is a full mouth reconstruction, which can cost you upwards of $30,000 dollars.

A full-mouth reconstruction means placing a dental crown on every one of your teeth. On the other hand, your dentist could prevent these problems by providing you with a simple and inexpensive nightguard. This is something you’d wear over your teeth while you sleep which protects you from the grinding. Doing this will prevent a host of problems for you.

If you do end up needing a full mouth reconstruction, make sure you do it with someone who has real expertise in reconstructive dental care.

This blog is brought to you by Tucson Prosthodontist Dr. Howard Steinberg.