Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is more than an annoyance. It can cause serious damage to your teeth over the long-term, not to mention the jaw pain you experience when first waking. The term is used to describe not just grinding, but the subconscious habits of biting, gnashing and clenching in your sleep.
It’s a widespread phenomenon, affecting around one in ten people, but how do you know you’re suffering from it and what can be done about it? Let’s look at some of the most common teeth grinding symptoms.
Pain & Stiffness
The force applied when you grind your teeth at night can often be felt in the morning, but not always in the way you might expect.
Pain in the mouth and jaw is common, but bruxism can also cause broader facial pain, headaches and even earaches. Pain and stiffness in the jaw can be severe enough to lead to temporomandibular disorder, where you might experience difficulty opening or moving your jaw for a moment, like it’s stuck in place, as well as cracking, clicking or popping noises when moving it.
Worn Down & Broken Teeth Or Fillings
The pressure applied to your teeth can cause serious damage to them over time. You may be able to see new chips and cracks in the mirror or feel them with your tongue. Otherwise, they may feel rougher than they did before.
In the most noticeable cases, you may have broken a tooth or dislodged a filling in your sleep. If that’s the case, it’s wise to seek treatment immediately before your unconscious habit does any more damage to your teeth.
Further treatment may also be needed to prevent infection or dental abscesses if your teeth are worn through.
You may have the experience of waking up in the night because your teeth or jaw are sore with a sensation of tightness and stiffness that wasn’t there before you went to sleep.
You may also wake up as a result of sleep apnoea, a condition where you cannot breathe effectively during your sleep that is often closely linked to teeth grinding. Your partner’s sleep may also be disrupted by the noise of teeth grinding.
Bruxism can be a large contributing factor to sleep deprivation, which can affect everything from mood and stress to weight management and back/joint pain.
When To Seek Help
If you experience one or more of the symptoms above then the sooner you seek treatment, the better. Teeth grinding can lead to serious issues, including damage to your teeth and dangerous abscesses.
How Can The Mead Dental Help?
If you are looking for treatment in Plymouth for teeth grinding, then look no further than The Mead Dental Practice.
Depending on the teeth grinding symptoms and causes, there is a range of ways we can treat teeth grinding, from using night guards to prevent premature wear and jaw pain or MADs, devices that help with the sleep apnea that can be a common cause. For a full breakdown of our service, visit https://www.meaddental.co.uk/treatments/teeth-grinding/.