Do you grind your teeth at night? Even if you answer no, you might be surprised to hear your dentist say otherwise. Because teeth grinding most often occurs at night, most people are unaware they are even doing it.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can cause an abnormal bite, loosened or missing teeth, or other oral health complications. Most people find that they are grinding their teeth at night from a loved one who hears the grinding. But there are other ways to tell if you have been grinding your teeth. Here are a few signs that you might need a mouth guard for teeth grinding.
Sign 1: You wake up with teeth pain, jaw pain, or facial soreness.
Bruxism can strain and put stress on your jaw and facial muscles, making them inflamed. This may cause your jaw to hurt or feel stiff in the morning. Your teeth or face may ache. Pain may make it difficult for you to open your mouth or chew. You may hear a clicking or popping sound when you talk or chew. Bruxism can also cause earaches, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in your ears), and hearing loss.
Sign 2: You wake up with a headache.
If you wake up with frequent headaches, you may be grinding your teeth at night. These headaches are usually centered around the sides and back of the head and are caused by the pressure on your jaws while grinding at night.
Sign 3: You chip a tooth or have visible signs of tooth wear.
Persistent grinding can wear the enamel of the teeth and expose your teeth to sensitivity. You may notice that your front teeth look shorter, your molars look flat on top, your teeth have cracks in them, or your molars have little pits in them. If you chip a tooth and can’t remember how it happened, there is a good chance that it happened while you were grinding your teeth at night.
Sign 4: You have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ).
TMJ occurs when the muscles around the jaw become inflamed, which can sometimes happen as a result of teeth clenching and grinding.
Bruxism is often caused by stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, it isn’t something we have a lot of control over at night, but scientists believe actively trying to reduce stress before bed can help. If you grind your teeth at night or think you need a mouth guard for teeth grinding, give us a call. Not only can we help restore damage done to your teeth, but we can find ways to prevent further damage and pain caused by teeth grinding.