Do you grind your teeth? Whether you’re a conscious tooth grinder or you grind your teeth without knowing it, a surprising number of Australians grind their teeth during their waking hours or during their sleep. The condition is technically referred to as bruxism.
You may notice yourself grinding your teeth, or your partner, housemate, or another person sleeping near you may notice it is occurring in your sleep and let you know about it. This is the most obvious sign, but less obvious signs and symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- Flattened teeth along the biting surface, or wearing down of tooth enamel
- Fractured or chipped teeth
- Teeth that become looser in the gums
- Tooth pain and sensitivity, including hot/cold sensitivity
- Clicking jaw, tired jaw muscles, or a jaw that won’t open and close as it should
- Pain in the jaw, neck or face, a feeling of earache or headache
- Inner cheek damage or bleeding
- Disrupted sleep.
Why visit a Caringbah dentist if you grind your teeth?
There are many reasons why you might consider visiting your dentist if you discover you are grinding your teeth, or suspect you are. These include:
- To repair any damage that has occurred as a result of your tooth grinding. This may include dental crowns and dental fillings at your dentist.
- To help to confirm whether tooth grinding is responsible for damage to your teeth. There may be other factors that can result in changes to your teeth, such as dental erosion or tooth decay.
- To investigate risk factors that are predisposing you to grinding your teeth. This could include stress, disordered breathing during your sleep (such as sleep apnoea), age, other health conditions, and congenital predisposition. Your dentist in Caringbah may be able to advise on methods to manage your bruxism. These methods may include stress management, relaxation, improved sleep hygiene, exercise, and mental health support.
- Equip yourself with devices that protect your teeth, reducing the risk of damage occurring when you grind your teeth. This may include a custom-made mouth guard, also known as a nightguard or occlusal splint, that acts as a buffer when you are tooth-grinding.
- To help manage any damage or pain in your jaw, which may be an example of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (sometimes referred to as TMJ disorder or TMD). This condition may result in facial pain, muscle pain around the jaw, neck and shoulder, jaw popping, jaw clicking, and other unpleasant symptoms.
If you have reason to believe you are grinding your teeth, you may be able to stop your grinding, or at least prevent it from causing further damage. For advice and treatment of your tooth grinding, you can book an appointment with the Caringbah Dentists today. Our dentist in Caringbah can also help with cosmetic dentistry, children’s dentistry, check-up and cleaning, and other dental services.