Do you have a habit of clicking and grinding your teeth together to form music in your head? Are you a better drummer with your teeth than you are with a drum kit? If so, your teeth probably help you remember old songs and even create new ones, using your molars as the bass drum and your canines as the snare drum. Even legendary musician, Dave Grohl admitted to being a tooth drummer in an interview with the magazine: Modern Drummer. However, he also gave the impression that his dentist was none too happy about it.
While tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, even harder than bone, it isn't immune to wear and tear. Eventually, all that grinding, tapping and pounding will damage your teeth. Bruxism (teeth grinding), which is a habit that has a similar effect on teeth, affects up to 40 million adults in the US and if left untreated, it can lead to a lifetime of costly dental work.
Here is what happens when teeth become drums.
Your Teeth Will Loosen in Their Sockets
Over time, the constant hammering of your teeth will loosen them in their sockets. Imagine a signpost embedded in the ground. Now imagine what will happen if you tap that signpost incessantly, as you would a drum. It would loosen and eventually keel over.
The same thing happens to teeth. The roots of your teeth are embedded in your jawbone. The constant tapping then will eventually weaken the bone that surrounds the root, causing your tooth to become loose.
Loose teeth can heal themselves if given time. However, if you continue to put pressure on them, they will fall out.
Your Teeth Will Eventually Crack and Fracture
The teeth you use the most for your drumming habit will form hairlines cracks in the outer surface. Hairline cracks themselves are generally benign, but if you continue to drum with those teeth, those cracks will worsen and could eventually cause your tooth to fracture.
Your Teeth Will Become Crooked
Did you know that your teeth move throughout your life due to the aging process? Orthodontists use this natural tooth movement to their advantage when helping their patients straighten crooked teeth with braces. However, drumming with your teeth can accelerate this natural process and cause your teeth to lean at unnatural angles.
This will result in a crooked smile, teeth that are more difficult to clean and a misaligned bite.
You May Need Braces, a Denture or Dental Implants
The result of continued drumming of your teeth over a number of years could lead to some very costly dental work. Crooked teeth will need braces, and missing teeth will require dental implants or even dentures for those who can't afford dental implants.
How to Kick the Habit Once and for All
According to neuroscientist, Elliot Berkman, the best way to kick a habit is to replace it with a new one, rather than simply stopping the habit. Thus, you should find another way to drum your favourite tracks and to keep up with songs while at concerts. You could tap your fingers, beatbox, pat your knees or stamp your feet instead.
If you have a habit of drumming with your teeth and you are having a hard time stopping it, talk to your dentist about the problem. They can create a custom mouth guard for you to wear for the next few weeks until you are able to kick the habit once and for all.Share
14 March 2017
As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.