Bruxism: Signs You Might Be Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth (or bruxism) is not an uncommon habit, but if done in excess it can severely damage your oral health. If you grind your teeth on a regular basis, call your dentist in Oshawa. They can examine you for signs of bruxism and tell you how to recover from it.
What Causes Bruxism?
Teeth grinding is often caused by stress or anxiety. It can also be just a semi-conscious act, much like nail-biting—a habit that can be broken by paying careful attention to whenever you notice yourself doing it.
Bruxism can also be caused by an irregular bite or a crooked or missing tooth. If something about your teeth is bothering you, it can be easy to grind or clench them unconsciously, especially in your sleep.
Unfortunately, teeth grinding most often occurs while you’re asleep and you have no control over it. Many people don’t know that they grind their teeth until someone else hears them doing it. If your Brantford dentist diagnoses you with bruxism, they can give you a mouth guard that will stop you from being able to grind your teeth as you sleep.
So why is teeth grinding harmful?
- Grinding your teeth excessively can wear them down to stumps.
- It can cause fractures and chips in your teeth.
- It can also loosen your teeth and, in worst case scenarios, make them fall out.
And teeth grinding doesn’t only affect the health of your teeth.
- It can cause jaw problems.
- It can lead to hearing loss.
- It can lead to or worsen TMD and TMJ (disorders of the jaw).
- It can even change the shape of your face.
How Do I Know if I Have Bruxism?
There are several signs to watch out for.
- Constant jaw and neck pain is one tell-tale sign that you grind your teeth, as is a constant headache. Sore facial muscles, gum inflammation, or sensitive teeth might be other indicators.
- If you think you may have sleep bruxism, pay attention to how your jaw feels when you wake up. If it is sore when you first get up but the pain fades during the day, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep.
- Conversely, if you have headaches and/or a sore jaw and neck by the end of the day, you might be grinding your teeth unconsciously throughout the day.