Have you ever been told that you grind your teeth in your sleep? Maybe you find yourself unintentionally clenching your teeth when stressed. Grinding and clenching your teeth (also known as “bruxism”) is a common unconscious habit.
…And it can spell disaster for your smile.
How can you know that you grind your teeth?
Dr. Kathleen M. Young of Young Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers some advice.
Here are three signs that could indicate that you have a serious teeth-grinding problem.
1. Aching and/or Sensitivity in Multiple Teeth
The pressure that your teeth experience during bruxism is not natural. This excessive force can actually strain and bruise the ligaments that support your teeth. If you have a sore, aching sensation in a large area of your mouth, then it could be a sign that you grind your teeth. Grinding can wear down the enamel on your teeth (see the next point), exposing more of the sensitive dentin. If you’ve noticed that your teeth have gotten more sensitive to temperature changes, then it could be due to the fact that they’re being worn down.
2. Wear Patterns On Teeth
The height and texture of teeth change depending on how much contact they have with opposing teeth. If you grind your teeth, you’ll notice that the points or “cusps” on chewing surfaces will have a flattened look. Even your dental restorations can be affected! Crowns can loosen and may even become fractured due to the forces of bruxism.
3. Sore Jaw
The joint responsible for chewing is your TMJ (temporomandibular joint). This joint, when overworked by teeth grinding, will become strained and sore. You might also have headaches, neck pain, or difficulty chewing as a result of clenching or excessive grinding.
Visit a dental office to determine whether or not bruxism is an issue for you. At Young Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we’ll help you put the pieces together and solve the mystery!
After that, we’ll work with you to find a lasting solution.
To visit a family dentist in Centennial, CO, contact our office to schedule a consultation!