We like to think we know ourselves better than anyone else, including what physical and dental health issues we may be going through. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case; certain illnesses and conditions can manifest without your knowledge, remaining unnoticed until their consequences become apparent. Habitually grinding your teeth—also known as bruxism—can often be that kind of condition.
A Closer Look at Bruxism
Patients who experience bruxism do so to different degrees, and for different underlying reasons. Usually, however, most bruxers tend to grind their teeth at night, while they’re asleep and unaware of what they’re doing. Unlike cavities or gum disease, or even chronic bad breath, the causes of bruxism can be unclear, and may include one or a combination of factors, such as;
- Increased levels of stress
- Anxiety disorders
- Trouble with your jaw’s joints and muscles (TMJ disorder)
- Crooked teeth, or other bite imbalance (your jaw can twitch and clench as it tries to find a comfortable position)
- And many others
Signs That You’re Grinding Your Teeth
Throughout the day, you might notice that you occasionally grind your teeth together, and can consciously make an effort to stop. Placing the tip of your tongue between your front teeth will prevent the impulse to clamp down. However, even if you believe that you never grind your teeth, certain signs and symptoms can tell a different story, and warn you to seek a professional assessment and treatment.
- Excessive tooth wear, especially along the chewing surfaces
- Cracks, fissures, and fractures in your tooth enamel (or the tooth’s structure, if severe)
- Overly-sensitive teeth
- A change in how your teeth fit together
- Sore, painful jaw muscles
- Chronic headaches, particularly in the mornings
- Your partner complains of the noise you make while you sleep
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.