Grinding your teeth can lead to problems only a general dentist can solve.
Grinding the teeth is a common habit that can arise for many reasons. There’s no way to know exactly how many people grind their teeth, but it happens enough to have its own medical name – bruxism.
For most people, bruxism is a result of unrelieved stress and tension they may still be feeling when it’s time to go to bed. In other, rarer cases, it can be the result of joint issues in the jaw. Other underlying medical problems can contribute, too.
Here’s why you should see a general dentist right away if you suspect bruxism.
When Grinding Your Teeth Causes Problems
The human bite is powerful. When you bite down, you’re exerting anywhere between about 100 and 150 pounds of force!
The limiting factor in that force isn’t actually your muscles, but your teeth – that is, most people stop biting down when their teeth hurt, not when muscles tire.
Naturally, when you grind your teeth, you’re not putting quite as much pressure on them. Still, it could amount to anywhere between 10 and 80 pounds of force.
Not surprisingly, this can cause a lot of issues:
- Tooth surfaces become worn down, which makes it harder to chew normally;
- Teeth may chip or crack, and in the most serious cases can even split entirely;
- Surface damage caused by grinding can make teeth more susceptible to decay.
The problem? Most bruxism sufferers don’t even realize what’s going on!
Do You Suspect Bruxism? How to Find Out for Sure
Until it causes serious pain, bruxism can be subtle.
Most people have symptoms that they can easily chalk up to other issues. For example, you might notice pain in the jaw upon first waking up that quickly subsides over the course of the day. Teeth might become more sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure.
However, there’s another aspect to the problem: Sleep issues.
If you notice jaw or tooth pain coinciding with sleep problems, bruxism is a cause to investigate. People with bruxism often find that they have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep at night, or remaining asleep in the morning before the alarm goes off.
They may feel nervous, anxious, or frustrated about issues encountered during the day.
One early warning system? A sleeping partner. Chronic grinding usually makes sounds loud enough for someone sleeping in the same room to notice. This can help you confirm your suspicions even before you see a dentist.
A General Dentist Can Relieve Bruxism Symptoms Fast
Bruxism starts as an annoyance, but it can build to a serious problem. Luckily, it’s easy to treat.
Your dental team at Landmark Dental Group can help you overcome bruxism using a special night guard. This prevents teeth from coming into contact at night, so symptoms can completely disappear from practically the first evening.
To find out more, contact us.