Are You Grinding Your Teeth?

Categories: Dental Tips & News

grinding your teeth?Do you wake up in the morning with headaches and pain in your jaws?  Has your partner complained that he or she can’t sleep because of the nighttime grinding sounds that you’re making? And have you noticed greater sensitivity to heat, cold, touch or other stimuli in your teeth? If you answered  “yes” to any of these questions, then chances are you suffer from bruxism.

Bruxism involves the clenching together of the lower and upper jaws and is accompanied by grinding of the lower teeth against the upper ones. While it is not clear just how many people suffer from this condition, experts believe that it affects between 10 and 50% population. What’s interesting about tooth grinding is that it is a completely subconscious behavior.

Although bruxism can occur while you are awake, it most frequently occurs while you sleep. During that time, the force at which jaws clench together can be up to six times greater than the force exerted during waking hours. As a result, significant damage to teeth and jaws is much more likely to occur when you least likely to be aware of it.

Bruxism can result in the following:

1. Sore facial muscles, headaches and earaches

The muscles used to chew food are the same ones responsible for bruxism. Consequently, these muscles often feel sore or tender in the morning. This may make the jaw feel tight or may cause pain when the sides of the mouth are touched.

2. Cosmetic damage, sensitivity and  fractures

Bruxism can cause teeth to be prematurely grind down which creates cosmetic damage.  It can also wear away tooth enamel which causes sensitivity to cold, pressure and other stimuli. In addition, the high pressure created from bruxism can fracture teeth and crack fillings.

3. Temporomandibular joint damage

Bruxism can cause damage to the temporomandibular joint or “hinge” which connects the upper and lower jaws together. This  disorder, known as temperomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, can lead to difficulties with chewing and even talking.

If you believe you are suffering from bruxism, then it’s time to make an appointment with Olympia Hills Family Dental. Our dentists can help you by creating a custom mouthguard for you to wear while you sleep which will minimize bruxism damage and save both your teeth and jaws. Don’t let tooth grinding ruin your mouth: contact us today

Call Olympia Hills Family Dental at (210)658-3131 for the best care for your family’s dental health!