You may grind your teeth throughout the day or you may grind your teeth all night long. However, despite the headaches and pain that it can cause, you may not even realize that tooth grinding is the reason for your problems until your dentist tells you. Tooth grinding (also known as “bruxism”) can also cause other, long-term problems.
Why do people grind their teeth?
Tooth grinding is quite common, and everyone does it occasionally. It does become a problem, though, when someone starts doing it all the time. It may be your body’s way of reacting to stress or anxiety, a problem related to sleep apnea, or it can be caused by dental issues such as a misaligned bite or missing or crooked teeth.
How do I know if I grind my teeth?
You may not even notice when you are grinding your teeth (especially if you do it when you’re asleep!), but you will notice some symptoms. You may start having headaches all the time, pain in the jaw and neck muscles, and ear pain. Over time, your teeth will become damaged because of the stress grinding places on them. The enamel on teeth can wear off, your teeth might develop cracks or chips (which can lead to infection and eventual tooth loss), and teeth may even start to become loose.
How is bruxism treated?
If you notice pain in your jaw, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. He or she will check for any bruxism damage and then can recommend a treatment if you do grind your teeth. This might include a mouth guard to wear at night to keep teeth separated or even Botox injections to relax your muscles. If stress is causing you to constantly grind your teeth, you may want to get help to learn how to cope with it.
Constant tooth grinding not only damages your teeth – it causes headaches and other day-to-day, painful problems. Get help if you think you grind your teeth, by calling Soft Touch Dentistry. Contact the Brighton office at (617) 782-9250 or the Newton office at (617) 332-8146 today.