They say acceptance is the first step to recovery, but you have to be aware of a problem in order to accept it and eventually confront it. That’s the scary thing about undetectable problems. They are silent, slow killers and by the time you discover them, the damage has already been dealt. Teeth grinding, or bruxism as it is medically known, is one such problem. It manifests itself through either constant grinding of the teeth at night or clenching of the jaw during the day. Many times teeth-grinders are unaware of what’s going on inside their mouths and only find out through oral health practitioners spotting the wear-down of the teeth (One reason it’s important to regularly visit your dentist) or through their loved ones who hear the grinding at night. Long term teeth-grinding can wear your teeth down to the point where a full mouth reconstruction may be necessary. While we here at Uptown Dentistry are skilled at reconstructing your mouth using dental implants, we would rather help you avoid the problem altogether. Here are some symptoms that will help you detect that thief-in-the-night known as teeth-grinding and stop it from stealing your smile:
- You wake up to a sore, tight jaw.
- Your jaw clicks or you have difficulty opening and closing your mouth.
- You notice that your teeth are unusually sensitive to hot and cold.
- Your teeth hurt when biting down on food.
- Your whole body hurts; headaches, ear-aches, neck pain, shoulder pain are all potential symptoms.
- You look in the mirror and notice that your gum appears to be eroding away.
- Your sleep is disrupted and you do not feel as refreshed in the morning.
- Did we mention headaches? They can occur as much as three times more in people who grind their teeth.
Now that you are aware of the symptoms, you may wonder “What are the causes of teeth grinding?”
- Stress, another silent killer, has been linked to teeth grinding.
- Emotions such as depression and anxiety.
- Other sleep disorders.
- A coping or concentration technique.
- Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth.
- High caffeine intake.
Whatever the cause may be and whatever symptoms may be experienced, it is highly beneficial to detect and deal with teeth grinding as soon as possible. If teeth grinding or any other condition has noticeably degraded your smile, Uptown Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry stands ready with the knowledge and experience to help give you back a stunning smile. Contact us today!