If you grind your teeth occasionally, like most people do, then the act itself probably isn’t a threat to your oral health. If you grind your teeth too much, however, then it may be one of the greatest threats to your healthy tooth structure, your bite balance, and the integrity of your smile. So, how do you know when you’re grinding too often? The trick with bruxism is that you probably do it most often in your sleep, when you don’t even realize it. Therefore, your dentist can perform a thorough check for common signs of bruxism during your regular checkups and cleanings. You can also keep an eye out for other common symptoms that could warn you of excessive teeth grinding.
The Common Symptoms of Bruxism
- Increasingly sensitive teeth – When you suffer from bruxism, your teeth consistently grind against each other, which can cause them to become sensitive as the enamel around them wears thin. The pressure from bruxism can also force them to shift positions, making your teeth even more sensitive.
- Worn chewing surfaces on your teeth – The more your teeth rub together, the more likely they are to wear down each other’s chewing surfaces. You might gradually notice that your bite feels off-balance and that your teeth no longer meet as squarely as they did when you bite down. This can cause your jaw to work harder when you bite and chew, which can lead to increased risks of damaged jaw joints and muscles.
- Jaw pain and trouble biting – As your bite becomes more imbalanced due to bruxism, the imbalance coupled with the pressure from teeth grinding can eventually lead to TMJ disorder, a dysfunction in your jaw’s joints. In fact, bruxism is a leading cause of TMJ disorder to the relentless clenching of your jaw’s muscles as your teeth grind.
Find Out How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
If you grind your teeth too much, then find out how to stop by visiting your dentist for appropriate treatment. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.