Signs that You May Be Grinding Your Teeth at Night
To “grit one’s teeth” is generally defined as showing determination in the face of adverse or challenging situations. While determination can be a positive attribute, the actual gnashing or grinding of teeth is definitely not a good thing. Teeth grinding can lead to oral health complications. Unfortunately, many people grind their teeth without realizing it because it often happens at night. Be sure to talk to your dentist if you notice any of the following signs of bruxism, or teeth grinding.
Perhaps the most noticeable symptom of teeth grinding is the pain it can cause. The teeth can become sensitive to hot or cold temperatures as the enamel wears away. In addition to tooth pain, jaw pain is quite common among patients with bruxism. The jaw joints and muscles can become sore to the point that it’s difficult to fully open the jaws, speak properly, and chew food. Bruxism can also result in headaches and ear pain.
Believe it or not, nightly teeth grinding can be very loud. It’s not unheard of for patients’ sleep partners to wake up because of the noise. Patients with bruxism can also wake themselves up. Sleep disruption is harmful to your overall health and your quality of life.
If left untreated, bruxism can lead to serious problems for your oral health. It can damage the soft tissues of your mouth, such as the insides of the cheeks and your tongue. When dentists examine the mouths of patients with bruxism, they often notice that the tongue takes on a scalloped appearance around the edges and the insides of the cheeks show signs of trauma. Bruxism can also cause damage to the teeth. As hard as enamel is, it doesn’t always last forever. Grinding your teeth can cause the teeth to become chipped, flattened, cracked, loose, and even fractured.
At the office of John R. Carson, DDS, we are experienced in helping patients with issues like teeth grinding and sleep apnea. If you suffer from bruxism, talk to our dentist in Tucson about getting a custom-made night guard to protect your teeth from grinding. New and current patients can reach our dental office at (520) 514-7203.