It’s not always easy for patients to know if they grind their teeth at night, especially if there’s no one around to hear the sound of their teeth grinding together. However, there are a few key indicators that you can watch out for if you suspect that you may be grinding your teeth. Our team can also check for signs of bruxism during your routine appointments, which is yet another reason why it’s so important to schedule regular visits with our office.
Teeth are very strong. In fact, our teeth are stronger than any other bones in our body! Clenching and grinding your teeth together night after night, however, can cause a great amount of damage to the tooth enamel as well as the structure of the teeth. If you notice that your teeth suddenly feel more sensitive than usual, we recommend scheduling a visit with our team to assess the situation. Prolonged teeth grinding can lead to cracks in teeth, which can result in infections and other serious issues.
Receding Gums & Loose Teeth
One common sign of bruxism that many patients don’t consider is gum recession. When the gum line starts to become lower on the teeth, it can be a sign that the patient has gum disease. It can also be a sign that a great amount of pressure is regularly being put on the teeth, and the gums are starting to deteriorate as a result. This is important to address, as gums cannot repair themselves. Teeth can also become loose in some cases, especially as the gums continue to recede.
Jaw pain is a common sign of TMJ, but it can also be indicative of chronic bruxism. When the muscles in the face and jaw are being extensively used to grind the teeth, they can become sore, and the patient may wake up with a sore or stiff jaw. This pain can occur in the ears and other parts of the face as well as the shoulders and back. Headaches can also result from frequent teeth clenching and grinding.
How Is Bruxism Treated?
In addition to reducing stress, getting on a good sleep schedule, and reducing or eliminating caffeine and alcohol, bruxism is frequently treated using custom mouthguards. Our practice provides durable custom mouthguards that are designed to protect a patient’s teeth and gums and prevent them from becoming damaged. Interested in learning more? We’d be happy to provide you with a diagnosis and custom treatment plan during your next visit to our office.