Grinding your teeth can be a much bigger issue than a sign that you’re carrying around some extra stress from your day. Teeth grinding can lead to long-term health issues and wreak havoc on your oral health. Think your stress, anxiety or poor alignment is creating a habitual habit while you sleep?
Here are 5 signs your body is trying to tell you that you’re grinding your teeth.
Waking Up With Tooth or Jaw Pain
Your stress plays a major role on your body’s overall health and different parts of your body may suffer from our stresses. If you find yourself waking up with intense headaches and radiating pain or soreness in the jaw and/or lower face, chances are you have been grinding your teeth in your sleep – maybe without even realizing it. Grinding your teeth causes the muscles in your jaw, neck and shoulders to experience constant muscle spasms. If your pain tends to be worse in the morning, feels like a dull ache, and centers around your jaw, grinding could be your issue.
Worn Down Tooth Enamel
When your dental enamel wears away, it leaves your teeth looking shorter and darker in color. Not only does grinding your teeth wear down the dental enamel, but it exposes the dentin in your teeth which can then make your teeth take on a yellow or even orange color. Lost enamel also leads to an increase in potential cavities and can make the chewing surfaces of your teeth feel rough and jagged.
Teeth Look or Feel Broken, Chipped or Flat
When you grind your teeth, you’re forcing unequal pressure on the chewing surfaces of your teeth that can fracture or weaken the teeth and your natural enamel. This type of pressure placed on the teeth can cause them to chip or break.
Noticing a little more tooth when you smile in the mirror? Receding gums can happen for a few reasons, one of the main contributors being bruxism. If you have a problem with clenching and grinding your teeth, placing that pressure on your teeth can lead to gum recession. Let your dentist know right away if you notice a change in your gum line as it could also be a sign of periodontal disease.
As your natural enamel wears away, your teeth become more prone to sensitivity making it difficult for you to enjoy ice cream, or sip a hot cup of coffee. When sensitivity becomes a major issue, there can be tiny cracks that develop in your enamel which is very painful. For mild damage, your dentist can use bonding which is a tooth colored resin that fills in the existing cracks caused from grinding your teeth.
Ways To Correct Bruxism
Once you have identified with the help of your dentist that you have in fact been grinding your teeth, it’s time to find a treatment that works for you and your lifestyle to correct the damage that has occurred and prevent additional issues from developing. There’s no one solution, but there are a number of treatments and medical options that can help you manage bruxism.
Treatments for teeth grinding include:
- Reducing stress
- Drinking more water
- Getting more sleep
- Not chewing gum or other foods that require a repetitive chewing motion
- Investing in a custom teeth grinding mouth guard
- Avoiding the use of alcohol which can make teeth grinding worse
- Avoiding caffeine
Investing In Yourself and Your Teeth
While there is no single cure for bruxism, it can be managed on an ongoing basis. With the help of Premier Dental Center and a custom night guard, you can lessen your symptoms and avoid major dental work in the future that is caused from grinding your teeth. Contact us at Premier Dental Center today to set up your appointment for a custom night guard that will help you sleep more soundly and curb your teeth grinding.