Do you grind your teeth at night? This sleep disorder – formally called bruxism – often goes undiagnosed because people simply don’t know they do it. However, this unconscious habit erodes tooth enamel, causes jaw problems, leads to teeth abnormalities, and can damage fillings and crowns.
Based on this information, it’s clearly important to find out if you grind your teeth so you can be fitted with a mouth guard to wear while you sleep. Here are the top telltale signs of nighttime tooth grinding:
You wake up with pain.
It’s common for tooth grinding to cause a variety of discomforts, especially right after waking up. These include:
- Dull headaches
- Jaw soreness
- Facial tenderness
- Neck pain
If you experience pain in any of these areas regularly, consider visiting Evanson DDS for a consultation. Teeth grinding could be the cause.
Your bed partner hears you grinding your teeth.
Bruxism creates a squeaking noise. As with snoring, the person creating the sound isn’t aware of it because it only happens when they’re sleeping. Ask your bed partner if squeaking or grinding noises ever disturb their sleep.
If you wonder whether your child grinds his teeth, have a “sleep-over” in his bedroom one night. If you’re a light sleeper and your child grinds his teeth, it’s likely you’ll find out during this little experiment.
Your jaw clicks when you open it.
Teeth grinding can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, including a clicking jaw joint. While this is a condition we can treat at Evanson DDS, you may be able to reverse your jaw problems by wearing a mouth guard if teeth grinding is the underlying cause.
You have sensitive teeth.
Your teeth are very strong – in fact, they’re the strongest substance in your body – but repeated grinding night after night eventually wears down the enamel. This exposes the dentin, which contains hollow tubes that lead to your nerves, resulting in sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
Your teeth and mouth have specific visual characteristics.
Look at your teeth closely in a mirror. Here are the visual clues you’re looking for:
- Your teeth should be rounded, not completely flat. A worn-down appearance is a dead giveaway you grind your teeth.
- A scalloped appearance on the edges of your tongue is a sign of continuously clenching your teeth, another form of bruxism.
- A white, horizontal line on the inside of your check forms where your teeth come together as a result of repeated rubbing. Called linea alba (Latin for “white line”), this thickening of the oral mucosa is harmless, but it’s a sign you grind your teeth.
Your parents or siblings grind their teeth.
Tooth grinding is common enough that you may do it regardless of whether a family member does, but the inheritable condition is even more likely if a parent or sibling also grinds their teeth. Ask around and see what you can find out.
Prevent Tooth Grinding with a Mouth Guard
A mouth guard is a product you wear at night that prevents your teeth from grinding against one another. Cheap versions are available at retail stores, but the most effective kind is custom-made for your bite. You can only get a custom mouth guard by being fitted at a dentist office. We offer this service at Evanson DDS to prevent teeth grinding and protect your smile.
If you have more questions about teeth grinding and the process of getting fitted for a mouth guard, please contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008. We’re happy to answer all your questions and meet with you in a free consultation to assess your situation.Leave a reply →