Bruxism is defined as an involuntary grinding of your teeth. It can happen to anyone and there appears to have been a large increase in bruxism in recent years. It’s certainly likely that the stresses and strain of a global pandemic have been a driving factor in this increase.
You don’t need to consciously grind your teeth together to have bruxism. In fact, most people do it as a reaction to certain stimuli, such as stressful situations or feeling angry.
In short, you clench your teeth together to help you cope. But, because they can be clenched with significant force, and you can even do this while you’re sleeping, a significant amount of damage can be done to your teeth and even your jaw.
How To Know If You Grind Your Teeth While Sleeping
You have a bite strength of roughly 250 pounds, that’s significant when you’re teeth are clamped together or repetitive clamping and unclamping. Of course, being asleep you may not know you are doing it.
The first clue is likely to be an aching jaw in the morning. You may also suffer from tension headaches. But, the best way to confirm you have sleep bruxism is to see a qualified dentist Fortitude Valley. They can examine your teeth and confirm the issue. Better still, they can help you resolve the problem.
Damage Bruxism Does To Your Teeth
As you grind your teeth against each other you are scraping the enamel coating on your teeth against itself. This is the hardest substance in the human body. However, if you grind it against itself it will wear down.
Unfortunately, once the enamel coating has worn off your teeth, bacteria will find it much easier to get into the softer inner part.
In short, the bacteria will cause infection n your teeth and this can lead to an array of issues, including tooth decay and ultimately tooth loss. It can also cause tooth alignment issues.
That’s why it’s essential to see a dentist regularly and take the best possible care of your teeth.
A dentist can provide a mouthguard which you use at night to prevent damage from occurring.
The constant clenching of your teeth invokes the jaw muscles. This can cause them to ache and to spasm. In severe cases of bruxism, you are likely to experience problems with the jaw to the skull joint. That’s the temporomandibular joint. If this is painful, aggravated, or damaged you will experience pain when chewing, and swallowing. Over time, it can even become difficult to chew.
It’s common to develop a clicking jaw and even have it lock up periodically.
You should note that the severity of damage done by bruxism can be made worse if you have acid reflux or other conditions in your mouth.
For these reasons, and potentially the sanity of your partner, you should get help from a reputable dentist and resolve the issue.