Statistics show that one in four people who visit a dentist suffer from teeth grinding, or bruxism. This condition is not restricted to a certain age group, socio-economic group or gender. Some patients grind their teeth during the day (consciously), but many engage in their bruxism habit while they sleep (subconsciously). Nighttime teeth grinding is often difficult to diagnose, especially if you do not have a partner that is clearly aware of your habits. However, there are specific symptoms or evidence of grinding or clenching your teeth during the night that help you determine if you have a problem. Long-term bruxism is not a condition you will want to ignore, as it can lead to many dental complications as well as headaches and jaw disorders (TMD).
The Mayo Clinic lists the following signs and symptoms of bruxism that you should be aware of:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Jaw or face pain or soreness
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
- Dull headache originating in the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Indentations on your tongue
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
Sometimes the solution to stopping your nighttime teeth grinding is as simple as addressing its cause. Patients may find that they grind their teeth when they are stressed, or it may be that alcohol or caffeine triggers your bruxism. If the problem persists and you start noticing the above-mentioned symptoms on a regular basis, your dentist can help. Park South Dentistry offers patients of all ages a custom-fit nightguard to help prevent clenching and grinding while you sleep. Stop damaging your teeth and start getting the sleep you need by tending to your teeth grinding habit today!