Your teeth can become damaged in several ways, from accidental trauma to a cavity (or hole) caused by tooth decay. Sometimes, however, your teeth can damage themselves, particularly when you grind them together excessively. Also known as bruxism, consistent grinding can slowly but surely weaken your teeth, making them more susceptible to cracks, fractures, and pieces chipping off of them. Since bruxism often occurs at night, your best chance at detecting and treating the condition may lie in visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and examinations.
When Teeth-Grinding Becomes a Problem
The act of clenching and grinding your teeth isn’t dangerous in itself. After all, that’s how your teeth bite and grind your food before digestion. Without food between them, however, your teeth have nothing to grind against but each other, and the friction can eventually wear down your teeth’s chewing surfaces. If left untreated, the pressure can also lead to damage to your jaw’s joints (TMJs), increasing your risk of TMJ disorder.
The Common Causes of Bruxism
Unconscious teeth-grinding can have a number of different factors, though they tend to revolve around issues with your bite’s alignment and comfort, or excessive tension in your jaw’s muscles. Common causes of bruxism can include;
- Heightened stress/anxiety levels
- TMJ disorder (which can be a cause and a symptom of bruxism)
- Crooked teeth (which can make your bite uneven and uncomfortable
- One or more missing teeth
- An injured or asymmetrical jawbone
Signs that You’re Grinding Your Teeth Too Much
Though your dentist may be the first to warn you of bruxism, you might notice certain symptoms before your routine visit that could hint at the condition, such as;
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Pain and soreness in your face muscles
- Chronic headaches, especially when you wake up in the morning
- Tightness in your jaw muscles
- The feeling that your teeth no longer fit well together when you bite down
ABOUT YOUR FT. WORTH DENTIST:
Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.