Do you often wake up with a headache, sore teeth, or an achy jaw? Do you ever notice that you clench your jaw throughout the day? If you said yes to either of these questions, you may be grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, usually occurs while you are sleeping. Bruxism can cause damage to your teeth and increase your risk of tooth decay. It can lead to frequent headaches. Bruxism can also increase your risk of developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ disorder can lead to jaw popping, pain, and lockjaw. Treating teeth grinding is important to prevent these types of issues from causing oral health problems.
It Can Cause Tooth Damage and Decay
Prolonged bruxism can create tiny cracks and fractures in the surfaces of your teeth. These tiny cracks may be small enough to not be visible, but large enough that harmful bacteria can get inside. Tooth decay and cavities can be caused by harmful bacteria hiding in the tiny fractures of your teeth. The bacteria may be hard to remove with brushing and flossing, which means they have longer to cause problems. The tiny cracks and fractures that may be caused by bruxism can weaken your enamel. Weak enamel can lead to larger cracks, chips, and breakage. Fractures in your teeth can also cause sensitivity to cold, hot, or overly sweet food.
Your TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to your temporal bones of your skull. The joint is the hinge of your jaw that allows movement that can go up, down, and side to side. TMJ disorder can make it painful for you to chew, bite, or speak. Your face and cheeks can feel sore and tired; the soreness and stiffness can spread down to your neck and shoulders. TMJ disorder creates a risk of opening your mouth wide and not being able to shut it (lock jaw) or painful popping of the jaw.
Do you think you are grinding your teeth?
Contact Smith Family Dentistry in Greenville, TX, to discuss ways to treat teeth grinding. 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.