Do you ever wake up with a headache or a sore jaw? Or maybe you notice that your teeth are starting to feel a little more sensitive than usual. These could be signs that you suffer from bruxism, a condition characterized by clenching and grinding of the teeth.
While bruxism can occur during the day, it is most commonly a nighttime condition. Many people who suffer from bruxism are not even aware that they do it.
What Is Bruxism
Bruxism is a condition where you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. It can happen during the day or at night, and it can be a real problem for your oral health. Bruxism can cause your teeth to wear down over time, and it can also lead to a number of discomfort and problems.
What Causes Bruxism
There is no single cause of bruxism. It may be caused by a combination of physical, psychological and genetic factors.
There are a number of physical factors that may contribute to bruxism, including:
- A misaligned bite or teeth that do not fit together correctly
- An abnormal bite relationship between the top and bottom teeth
- Jaw muscle tension or abnormalities
Teeth grinding or clenching is often a response to an abnormal bite or teeth that do not fit together correctly. This can be due to:
- Misaligned teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Missing teeth
- An overbite or underbite
In some cases, bruxism may be due to a problem with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull.
There are also a number of psychological factors that may contribute to bruxism, including:
Bruxism is often a response to stress. It may also be a coping mechanism for anxiety, depression or other psychological issues.
Bruxism may also be caused by genetic factors. It tends to run in families, so if your parents or grandparents grind their teeth, you may be more likely to do so as well.
What Are the Common Signs of Bruxism
If you think you may be grinding your teeth at night, look out for these common signs and symptoms:
1. Headache or Facial Pain
If you wake up with a headache or facial pain, it could be a sign that you’re grinding your teeth at night. The constant grinding can put pressure on your jaw and the muscles in your face, causing pain in these areas. If you also have a sore jaw or neck, it’s likely that teeth grinding is the cause.
2. Worn-Down Teeth
If your teeth look shorter than they used to, it could be because you’re grinding them down. The constant friction from grinding can wear away at your teeth, making them shorter and more susceptible to cavities. You may also notice that your teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
3. Jaw Pain or Tenderness
If you find that your jaw is sore or tender, it could be from clenching or grinding your teeth. The muscles in your jaw can become tight and inflamed from all the grinding, causing pain and tenderness. You may also notice your jaw pops or clicks when you open your mouth.
An earache can be a sign of teeth grinding because the grinding can cause the muscles in your jaw to spasm, which can, in turn, cause pain in your ears. If you have an earache that doesn’t go away with over-the-counter medication, it’s worth seeing your dentist to rule out teeth grinding as the cause.
5. Difficulty Sleeping
If you have difficulty sleeping, it could be because you’re grinding your teeth at night. The constant grinding can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, leading to fatigue during the day. If you find that you’re constantly tired during the day, it’s worth seeing your dentist to check for teeth grinding.
If you think you may be suffering from bruxism, it’s important to see your dentist. They can help you find the best way to treat the condition and protect your teeth.
Manassas Smiles is the best dental clinic that offers dental treatments for a variety of conditions, from teeth grinding to gum disease. We offer general dentistry services such as teeth cleaning, exams, and x-rays. We also offer a variety of specialty services, such as orthodontics, periodontics, and endodontics. Let us create customized treatment solutions to meet your unique dental needs. Schedule an appointment with us today!