Bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding, can sometimes be an elusive condition to track. Most of us grind our teeth occasionally, some more than others, but that doesn’t mean they have bruxism or necessarily need treatment to stop. However, if you do have bruxism, you might not always notice how often you grind your teeth. It might occur mostly at night, while you’re sleeping and unable to catch yourself. Fortunately, there are other hints that could warn you your teeth-grinding habit is a problem, such as when the force and pressure start to affect your teeth and oral structures.
Your teeth feel more than they used to
Grinding your teeth occasionally isn’t usually a problem because, when healthy, your teeth can take it. If you do it all the time, though, the pressure and friction from the grinding habit can start to wear down your tooth enamel, the protective mineral layer that surrounds your healthy tooth structure. As enamel grows weak, your teeth become more sensitive to things like hot and cold foods, beverages, and air. If your teeth start feeling increasingly more sensitive, it may be due to a bruxism problem, and it will only grow worse until you address it.
Some teeth don’t meet when you bite down
When enamel wears down, your teeth become more sensitive, but when the main structures of your teeth become worn, it can change how your entire bite feels. The chewing surfaces of your teeth take the brunt of the friction from bruxism, and over time, it can begin to wear them down significantly. This will change how your bite is balanced, as certain teeth won’t be able to meet each other evenly anymore. If left unaddressed, this imbalance can put an even greater strain on your jaws, potentially leading to a jaw dysfunction.
Your jaw joints and muscles feel overworked
It isn’t often that healthy jaws tire themselves out, but when you suffer from bruxism, the constant grinding of your teeth can make it happen fairly quickly. If you have nighttime bruxism, you may wake up with your jaw muscles already feeling tired and sore, becoming increasingly more uncomfortable throughout the day. The overexertion of your jaw and bite are a main reason why bruxism is often associated with jaw dysfunction. If you wait long enough to treat your teeth-grinding problem, you may have more than just bruxism to worry about by the time you finally do.
Learn how to solve your teeth-grinding problem
When teeth-grinding becomes problematic – a condition known as bruxism – saving your smile means seeking a solution for it as soon as possible. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Peddicord Family Dentistry in Ankeny, IA, today at (515) 963-3339. We also proudly serve patients of all ages who live in Bondurant, Polk City, Elkhart, Alleman, Cambridge, and all surrounding communities.