Teeth grinding, dentally known as bruxism, is not something a patient is usually aware he/she is doing. While grinding can take place during the day, it is most common at night. As with snoring, many times a patient’s partner will be affected by it before the patient starts experiencing symptoms.
A dentist will be able to diagnose bruxism by checking the teeth for wear and fractures. However, those aren’t the only signs of bruxism. A patient’s teeth may be hypersensitive. He or she may also experience TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) pain from the tightening of the jaw, a headache, and pain from the inflammation of the periodontal ligament. If a patient is grinding during the day, a dentist may recommend that the patient attempts to notice when the teeth grinding is happening to identify the cause of it. For teeth grinding that takes place at night, a night guard, a piece of plastic specifically molded for your mouth, may be prescribed. The night guard protects your teeth from the pressure that grinding places on them.
If your dentist suspects that bruxism is a sign of a greater health problem, they may recommend that you see a different type of doctor to treat the underlying issue. Teeth grinding can be a sign that a patient is suffering from anxiety and stress. Another cause of bruxism is sleep apnea, which would require a trip to a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders.
If you are experiencing pain from grinding your teeth or your partner hears you doing it in your sleep, call Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts, so that Dr. Makrauer or Dr. Miller can help you before your symptoms worsen. They can help you identify the cause of it and likely find a solution that can help both you and your partner sleep better!