Teeth grinding occurs when you clench your jaw either consciously or unconsciously. This may happen throughout the day, but it can also happen at night while you sleep.
What Is Bruxism?
Seemingly, teeth grinding or “bruxism” is a benign issue that is annoying at worst. In fact, however, teeth grinding can have negative impacts on your health. Here are the top reasons to see your dentist if you’ve been having trouble with teeth grinding:
Over time, the immense pressure that you can put on your teeth when you clench and grind can cause micro-cracks, which can later turn into fractures. Your teeth may also loosen because of the continual back-and-forth rocking movement made when teeth grinding.
Grinding also wears down the protective enamel that covers your teeth. This protective enamel is essential for keeping your teeth free from cavities and infection.
Many people who suffer from chronic headaches also struggle with bruxism, and when they can stop grinding, their headaches will be greatly reduced.
Finally, if you grind your teeth, you’re not getting the most out of your sleep, and you likely feel tired even when you have just woken up in the morning.
What Your Dentist Can Do
First of all, your dentist will be able to diagnose whether or not you actually have bruxism. A certain amount of teeth grinding or jaw clenching is normal and probably won’t cause dental problems.
But if you have been experiencing jaw pain, chronic headaches, or overall fatigue when you wake up in the morning, this is something you should talk to your dentist about. Additionally, if you sleep with a partner, ask them whether or not they have heard an audible grinding sound while you are sleeping. They will then examine your teeth for specific signs of bruxism. Most of the time, this includes enlarged jaw muscles and tell-tale wear on the surfaces of your teeth.
If bruxism ends up a serious problem, your dentist can create a bite guard or bite splint for you to wear at night. Consciously, it’s important that you make an effort not to clench your jaw excessively while you are awake, and you can also wear the guard at night.
In some rare cases, bruxism can be linked with a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, and in this case, you may need to see a specialist. Your dentist will help determine this.
Contact Dental Clinics of Texas To Learn More
If you have been experiencing the symptoms of bruxism, Dental Clinics of Texas can help. We offer treatment for bruxism as well as numerous other services to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Give us a call at (823) 427-1901 to make your appointment today. We look forward to serving you!