Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, is an incredibly common sleep disorder. If it happens during your sleep, how do you know if you have it? Do you wake up with a sore jaw or sore teeth? Do you frequently wake up tired after a full night of sleep? Do you seem to always wake up with a headache? Are your teeth sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet foods? These are all signs that you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. Did you know that grinding your teeth could potentially be causing a lot of damage to your teeth, mouth, and even jaw.
Risk of Breakage
Grinding your teeth is literally the act of your upper and lower ridges of teeth grinding together. This increased friction between these hard surfaces can create tiny fractures in the teeth. Over time, these tiny fractures can increase in size and leave teeth vulnerable to breakage. Vulnerable teeth may succumb more easily to a chip, crack, or severe fracture from biting into something that would have been mildly innocuous to a strong, non-fractured tooth.
Increased Risk of Decay
The same tiny fractures in your teeth that leave them susceptible to breaking can also become tiny homes to bacteria. Bacteria can hide in these tiny cracks making it difficult to remove during brushing and flossing. The bacteria can lead to tooth decay, which usually begins by attacking the outer surface of the enamel. The tiny fractures caused by bruxism actually give the decay a head start making it easier to cause cavities.
The stress and strain of the grinding of your teeth can have an adverse effect on your jaw. More specifically the adverse effect can be on the joint of your jaw known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This overwrought use of the joint can lead to TMJ Disorder, which can lead to pain in the jaw, face, cheeks, shoulder, neck, popping of the jaw, and painful lockjaw.
Are you grinding your teeth at night?
Talk to Dr. Coon if you think you are grinding your teeth. To schedule a consultation, call Grinnell Street Dental at (307) 672-7567. Located in Sheridan, WY, we also proudly serve the residents of Gillette, Billings, Miles City, and all surrounding communities.