Do You Grind Your Teeth?

Do You Grind Your Teeth?Do you wake up with a headache, sore jaw, or achy teeth? Do you notice yourself absent-mindingly clenching your jaw during the day? You might be grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, mostly occurs while you are sleeping. Bruxism can cause damage to your teeth and increased risk for tooth decay. It can cause frequent headaches. Bruxism can also increase your risk of developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which affects your jaw and it’s alignment. TMJ can lead to jaw popping, pain, and lockjaw. If you think you may be grinding your teeth, your dentist can talk to you about treatment options. Early treatment can prevent tooth damage and other complications. 

Tooth damage, decay, and sensitivity

Prolonged bruxism can cause tiny cracks in your teeth. The tiny cracks may be small enough to seem invisible, but large enough that harmful bacteria can get inside. Harmful bacteria hiding inside of the cracks formed by teeth grinding can lead to tooth decay and cavities. The tiny cracks caused by bruxism can also weaken the tooth’s enamel. Weak enamel becomes susceptible to larger cracks, chips, and breakage. Tiny cracks also cause your teeth to become sensitive to cold, hot, or overly sweet food.

TMJ Disorder

The TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to your temporal bones of your skull. The joint is a hinge with movement that can go up, down, and side to side. TMJ disorder can make it painful for you to chew or speak. It can feel like your upper and lower jaw are not lined up correctly. Your face and cheeks can feel sore and tired. The soreness and stiffness can spread to your neck and shoulders. With TMJ disorder, there is a risk of opening your mouth wide and not being able to shut it (lock jaw).

Your dentist can treat bruxism.

If you think you are grinding your teeth, contact Smith Family Dentistry in Greenville, TX. To schedule a consultation, call us at 903-455-5750. We proudly serve patients from Hunt County, Greenville, Royce City, Sulphur Springs, and all surrounding communities.