Research has shown that more than half of the polled dentists reported increases in the cases of bruxism. It is a dental disorder where people grind and clench their teeth often. Bruxism is commonly known as teeth grinding. You might be one of the patients of teeth grinding if you gnash your teeth too much. However, you don’t need to worry as it is a curable condition.
If you grind your teeth during sleep, it is known as sleep bruxism. But if you do that in an awake state of mind, you might have awake bruxism.
Signs & Symptoms of Bruxism
There are certain apparent teeth grinding symptoms you should look out for in yourself or a family member. Be alert if you or your family member makes loud noise due to teeth grinding during sleep. Broken, damaged or chipped teeth can be a result of clenching teeth. If you feel pain and sensitivity in your teeth and see the damaged enamel, contact your dentist immediately.
Some painful symptoms can be felt around your jaw, ears, head, neck and other parts of the face. Be alert if you feel unexplained pain in these areas. Damaged inner cheeks and disruption in sleep can also be a symptom of bruxism.
Adverse Effects of Bruxism
There are various short term and long term effects of teeth grinding. But they should be treated as early as you spot the teeth grinding symptoms. Let’s look at 4 common adverse teeth grinding effects.
- Depleted Condition of Teeth
The condition of your teeth will reveal whether you have a teeth grinding disorder or not. Your teeth become flat and square-shaped due to regular clinching. Some can be smaller than others and in a depleted condition. If your bruxism went undetected for a long time your teeth may appear more damaged.
You might also notice increased cavities in tour mouth as the cavities grow in the cracks of your teeth. You will likely need a filing and maybe even a root canal. But these dental restorations won’t last long with teeth grinding.
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Disorder
TMJ is the joint which enables your jaw to move freely. Gnashing teeth puts pressure on your jaw and ultimately on the TMJ. Because TMJ is the connecting joint between your jaw and your skull, the pressure on TMJ can lead to TMJ disorder. This is a condition where the patient feels immense pain and discomfort in their jawbones and surrounding areas.
If you face trouble moving your jaw when speaking and chewing and feel immense pain in your head, neck, and shoulders, get yourself tested for TMJ disorder.
- Disturbed Sleep
Sleep bruxism is a common disorder. You might or might not remember waking up from sleep at night due to teeth grinding. But if you wake up tired you might have sleep bruxism. This lack of sleep gives birth to many other health issues down the road if not treated on time.
- Damaged Gums
Your jaw connects with your teeth through soft tissue. The soft tissue gets damaged when you gnash your teeth and you will be able to spot redness and inflammation on your gums as a result. Your teeth may also get loose or disconnect from your gums because your injured gums can’t hold your teeth together.
Bruxism can affect adults as well as kids. Contact your dentist as soon as you spot any of the symptoms explained above. This will help to prevent teeth grinding at an early stage. It is a curable disorder, provided you go to a reliable and experienced dentist. Don’t ignore this condition, otherwise, you will do tremendous harm to your teeth and gums.
Author: Shen Chao – Online Marketing Manager for Joshua Hong DDS in Goodyear, AZ.