Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is often thought of as nothing more than a “harmless, annoying habit.”
However, grinding your teeth can seriously transform your bite and severely damage your teeth and jaws. Teeth grinding also causes abrasions to the surface of the teeth, which can affect the ability to chew. The abnormal damage caused by bruxism can prematurely age and loosen teeth, which opens them to a variety of issues such as: hypersensitivity, chronic jaw and facial pain and even headaches.
Routine dental exams will expose potential teeth grinding. However, here are a few clues you might grind your teeth:
- Sore jaw
- Popping sounds when you open and close your mouth
- Short or worn look to teeth
- Small dents in your tongue
Fortunately, there are ways to combat bruxism. One common treatment is a special mouth guard to wear while sleeping.
“Treating bruxism with a mouth guard worn at night is a great way to reduce wear on your teeth and help with sore muscles,” said Dr. Meyer. “A good daytime reminder you can do yourself to help stop clenching and grinding is to remember: lips together, teeth apart.”
If you suspect you grind your teeth, have any of the symptoms such as jaw pain or headaches, or notice abnormal wear or tear on your teeth, make an appointment, today. While the damage of grinding teeth takes place over a prolonged period of time, the damage is very real and can be quite serious. The best solution is to be proactive!