Does stress cause you to you clench your jaw during the day? Do you wake up with pain in your jaw or headaches almost every morning? You may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause damage to your teeth. It can cause frequent headaches. Grinding your teeth can lead to tooth decay and tooth sensitivity. It can also increase your risk of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which affects the hinge of your jaw and it’s alignment. TMJ can lead to pain, tenderness in the cheeks, jaw popping, and lockjaw. Early treatment of bruxism can prevent tooth damage and TMJ disorder from developing.
The temporomandibular joint is near each ear and it connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. The hinge joint can go up, down, and side to side to accommodate chewing, biting, or speaking. TMJ disorder can make these actions difficult to do. With TMJ disorder, there is a risk of opening your mouth wide and not being able to shut it (lock jaw). TMJ disorder can also cause stiffness and pain in your face, neck, and even down through your shoulders. TMJ disorder can be treated by your dentist.
Tooth Damage, Decay, and Sensitivity
Over time, bruxism can cause tiny cracks in your teeth. The tiny cracks may be so small that they may not be visible to the eye, but they can be large enough that harmful bacteria can get inside. When harmful bacteria hide within these tiny cracks, it may be difficult to remove. The bacteria can cause decay to develop within the enamel. The tiny cracks caused by bruxism weaken the tooth’s enamel. Weak enamel becomes prone to breakage and damage. Tiny cracks in your teeth cause them to become sensitive to cold, hot, or overly sweet food.
Treat teeth grinding before problems develop
Contact us to learn more about teeth grinding and how to treat it. Schedule a consultation with Grinnell Street Dental in Sheridan, WY, by calling (307) 672-7567. We welcome residents from Sheridan, WY, as well as Gillette, Billings, Miles City, and all surrounding communities.