The fancy name for teeth grinding and clenching is bruxism. When you’re feeling particularly stressed or frazzled, you might find yourself tightening your jaw and clenching your teeth, and this might not cause any damage at first. However, if you are one of the many people who grind regularly, such as in your sleep when you aren’t even aware that it’s happening, you might end up with scary problems like loose, worn, or fractured teeth, along with jaw problems like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ).
Since this is something that may occur during sleep, how do you know if you’re a teeth grinder? Well, being aware of grinding teeth symptoms is your first step, so we cover a few of the main signs of teeth grinding below. But, in addition to being more informed about the symptoms, seeing your dentist regularly is also helpful, as he or she can examine your mouth for early signs that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth too much.
Unfortunately, teeth grinding can cause some major problems within the mouth.
Interesting fact: Although you may not even be aware that you’re grinding your teeth at night, your partner might be able to hear it and tell you about it. Whoa!
As if the damage to your mouth wasn’t bad enough, when you grind or clench your teeth excessively, symptoms outside of the mouth might arise as well.
The bad news is that, without treatment, your teeth grinding symptoms could worsen and start to cause serious damage. The good news, however, is that your dentist can help you get relief. For example, he or she might recommend a mouthguard that you can wear at night to protect your pearly whites. And your dentist can also help resolve any existing dental problems, such as tooth fractures or damaged fillings.
The sooner you get treatment for teeth grinding, the better, and having dental insurance can help ensure you won’t ever have to skip an appointment. Then, once you’re no longer grinding your chompers, you’ll likely notice that symptoms like headaches and pain in the face subside. So, if you think you might be grinding your teeth, or if you already know that this is a problem for you, it’s wise to check in with your dentist for some expert guidance.