Are You Grinding And Damaging Your Teeth?
Tooth grinding, or Bruxism as it’s officially known, is one of those tricky conditions that you could be suffering from without even knowing it. Tooth grinding is an involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth. In addition, Bruxism doesn’t always display its symptoms in ways that are immediately noticeable.
Most people aren’t even aware they are grinding their teeth until their partners tell them or advanced symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches and worn down, sensitive teeth start to emerge.
Symptoms of tooth grinding
What makes working out if you grind your teeth so challenging is that while you may have some symptoms when you first wake up, they can quickly disappear. If you experience tooth grinding during waking hours, symptoms won’t be noticeable until later in the day.
So what should you be looking out for?
- Fractured, chipped or loose teeth
- A dull headache, sore jaws and/or ear pain
- Aching teeth, and stiffness in the face and temples, particularly after you’ve just woken up
- Sore jaws while you’re eating, especially at breakfast time
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks
- Intense jaw clenching
Even if you’re not sure that teeth grinding is responsible for the symptoms you’re experiencing, telling your dentist as soon as you suspect something’s wrong means they can perform a diagnosis and devise possible teeth grinding treatment options.
Problems caused by tooth grinding
All those niggling, sometimes painful symptoms may be pointers to even worse damage being done. Tooth grinding places a lot of pressure on your teeth. Including cracking their protective enamel, fracturing them and breaking things like crowns and fillings, while placing great stress on the joints and muscles in your jaws.
You might also find your teeth are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations and that it is more painful to bite down, as the fibre that attaches your teeth to the bone gets inflamed.
Causes and treatments
Bruxism has many likely causes, which can be both physical and psychological. This means that teeth grinding treatment will often need to address both these things. Your dentist will take care of the possible physical causes, such as overly-high fillings, or missing or crooked teeth. They may fit you with a nightguard if you grind your teeth while sleeping (most people are unaware that they are in fact doing this!).
If the source of your teeth grinding is emotional. Then it’s important to deal with these issues ahead of seeing your dentist by speaking to your Doctor. You can contact organisations like Lifeline (131 114) and Beyond Blue (1300 224 636). As your local Bayside dentist, we are here to help ensure that your teeth are in the best condition possible. If you suspect you may be experiencing Bruxism give us a call on (03) 9584 4949 . Or fill out our online contact form.