Bruxism is a condition describing an individual who regularly grinds or clenches their teeth. When this occurs during the day, it’s easy to self-diagnose and work toward minimizing such activity. However, for many people, this behavior occurs at night as they sleep, making it much more difficult to know when there’s an issue.
Are You Clenching Your Teeth at Night?
The good news is if you’re seeing the dentist at least once every six months as you should, it’s likely the issues can be identified based on observed tooth wear.
In the meantime, here’s a look at the main signs and symptoms to watch for that may indicate teeth grinding and clenching at night:
If you’re regularly waking up with headaches, this could be a sign that you’re grinding your teeth at night. That’s because grinding can take its toll on the muscles located throughout your head. Take note if you experience earaches or other facial pain in addition to headaches.
Similar to headaches, teeth grinding affects the muscles located throughout the face and head. Jaw pain is a common occurrence for people who grind their teeth at night. Teeth grinding and clenching can also lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ.
Teeth grinding and clenching can take its toll on your teeth. In fact, clenching or grinding nocturnally is believed to have the potential of exerting 100 times the force than it would normally. That’s a significant amount of pressure. Prolonged grinding and clenching can cause chipped and cracked teeth.
A dentist can typically identify worn down teeth from grinding or clenching when you go in for your cleanings. You can also get an indication as to whether or not nocturnal grinding and clenching is an issue in your observations at home. One way is to just study your teeth in the mirror, looking for irregularities in the positioning of your teeth. The other way you can help tell if you have worn teeth is to run your tongue across them in an attempt to see if the texture on some is different from that on others.
Talk to Your Dentist
The good news is that if you’re grinding or clenching your teeth as you sleep, there’s a fairly easy fix for it. This fix might come via a bite guard you wear at night. For some people, lifestyle adjustments may help eliminate such symptoms at night. However, it’s crucial to see your dentist so that clenching or grinding issues can be resolved before they become too big of a problem.
For more information, contact Caven Dental today.