Uncontrollably grinding your teeth (known as bruxism) often occurs while you are sleeping. So, if you are asleep when it happens, how do you know if you are grinding your teeth? There are some signs that may indicate that you are grinding your teeth at night. Do you wake up with a sore jaw or teeth? Have you noticed yourself clenching your jaw during the day while you are awake? Do you have sensitive teeth or teeth that develop cavities easily? If you said yes to one or more of these, you may be grinding your teeth. Bruxism can put your smile at risk, so it is important for it to be treated. Your dentist can help you manage your teeth grinding and protect your oral health.
Grinding Can Damage Your Smile
There is an awful lot of friction caused by the grinding of your teeth. Teeth are built to withstand pressure from biting and chewing foods, so they are made of hard, durable materials. Over time, grinding your teeth can cause tiny fractures to be formed on the surfaces of your teeth. These fractures may be so small that you may not see them, but they can be big enough for harmful bacteria to enter and cause tooth decay. Fractures in your teeth also leave them vulnerable to breaking and cracking.
Excessive Strain on Your Jaw
Bruxism not only causes excessive wear and tear on your teeth, but it also puts strain on your jaw leading to TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, which are the hinge joints that control your jaw’s movement. TMJ disorder can involve pain in the jaw, face, neck, shoulders, chronic headaches, jaw popping or clicking, lockjaw, and more. Interestingly enough, TMJ disorder can be caused by bruxism, but if you already have the jaw disorder, it can lead to you grinding your teeth.
Grinding Your Teeth Can Be Problematic
If you are grinding your teeth, Dr. Young can help you address it. He can also help you to restore your smile if bruxism has negatively affected it. We proudly help patients from Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and surrounding communities. To learn more, contact us today at our Lafayette, LA, dentist’s office at 337-237-6453.