Are you a teeth grinder? You might not even know that you are unless someone tells you how difficult it is to sleep next to you because of the awful noises coming from your mouth. Some people are aware of their habit because they wake up with a sore mouth or tense muscles that cause headaches and neck pain throughout the day. Whatever the reason or the time that you grind, there is one common denominator – grinding your teeth causes very bad things to happen in your mouth.
The Effects of Grinding
If you think about it, when you grind your teeth, you are hitting enamel against enamel. Eventually one tooth is going to win over the other. What happens to that losing tooth? It loses what is most important to it – enamel. The enamel of your tooth is its protector; it is what shields it from pain, keeps it looking good, and helps you chew. Without it, you can experience a multitude of issues including:
- Loose teeth (if the grinding is bad enough or goes on for a long time)
- Chipped teeth that are unsightly to look at (reducing your self-esteem)
- Cause any dental work to be rendered useless (fillings can fall out and bonding can crumble)
- Difficulty eating or drinking hot/cold foods due to sensitivity
- Pain in other facial regions due to the stress you put on your teeth
Finding out if you Grind Your Teeth
You do not have to rely on someone else letting you know that you grind your teeth or waiting to see if you experience any of the above symptoms. We can tell at your regular dental checkups if your teeth are being ground down at night. A simple check on the health of your teeth will give us clues as to your nighttime habits. Uneven wear and tear on your enamel is one of the first signs that will alert us to your habits. We will also ask you a variety of questions to determine your habits and what consequences you are experiencing. Sometimes things have a way of changing, such as a chronic pain in your jaw or neck, but it becomes just a normal part of your daily life, so you forget about it. When we question you on how you feel and what habits you are noticing that are changing, the truth about teeth grinding often comes out.