Teeth grinding, or Bruxism as it’s officially known, is one of those damaging conditions that you could be suffering without even knowing it. An involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth, it doesn’t always display its symptoms in ways that are immediately noticeable.
Most people aren’t even aware they are grinding their teeth until their partners tell them or advanced symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches and worn down, sensitive teeth start to emerge.
Symptoms of teeth grinding
What makes working out if you grind your teeth so challenging is that while you may have some symptoms when you first wake up, they can quickly disappear; and if you grind teeth during waking hours, symptoms won’t be noticeable until later in the day.
So what should you be looking out for?
- Fractured, chipped or loose teeth
- A dull headache, sore jaws and/or ear pain
- Aching teeth, and stiffness in the face and temples, particularly after you’ve just woken up
- Sore jaws while you’re eating, especially at breakfast time
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks
- Intense jaw clenching
- Even if you’re not sure that teeth grinding is responsible for the symptoms you’re experiencing, telling your dentist as soon as you suspect something’s wrong means they can perform a diagnosis and devise possible treatment options.
Problems caused by teeth grinding
Teeth grinding places a lot of pressure on your teeth, wearing down and cracking their protective enamel, fracturing them and breaking things like crowns and fillings, while placing great stress on your jaws joints and muscles. You might also find your teeth are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and more painful to bite down on as the fibre that attaches them to the bone gets inflamed.
Treatments for teeth grinding
Whilst there may be some underlying causes for teeth grinding that need to be investigated and addressed, your dentist has several treatment options that can be used to control the effects of teeth grinding. These treatments are used to protect your teeth against further wear and fractures, your jaw joints and muscles from dysfunction, inflammation and damage, and reduce the pain in your muscles in your head, neck and back from the damaging effects of teeth grinding.
Some of these options include, but not limited to; a night guard or “splint”, muscles relaxant medications, muscle relaxant injections, referral to a chiropractor or physiotherapist.
If you feel you are suffering from teeth grinding, please contact us on 02 98103044 or book an appointment online