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Metro Dental Health
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Washington, DC 20037
5 Common Signs Of Bruxism
Do you constantly find yourself waking up with headaches or sore jaw muscles? If so, you're not alone. Bruxism is a common condition that involves grinding and clenching your teeth. Many people who suffer from bruxism aren't even aware of it. Many people grind and clench their teeth while they're asleep, so you may be completely oblivious to what's happening.
It's crucial to seek treatment for bruxism as soon a possible. Aside from the pain and discomfort, the constant grinding and clenching can lead to serious dental issues such as TMJ or teeth loosening.
What are the signs of bruxing? Here are five things to look for
1. Headaches and pain
when you wake up
This is one of the more common signs of bruxism. You wake up with tooth pain, a headache, pain and soreness in your jaws, earaches, or facial soreness.
2. Flat teeth
Look at your rear teeth, or molars. These are the teeth that tend to suffer the most from grinding. If over time, you notice that your teeth look shorter, or you spot “pot holes,” this could indicate that you're grinding your teeth excessively.
3. Cracked or chipped teeth
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your entire body. However, people who grind their teeth exert an enormous amount of pressure on their teeth. How much? Research has shown that when we're sleeping, we grind and clench our teeth with as much as 130X the force used to chew food or gum. So if you're cracking or chipping your teeth, just imagine how much pressure you're applying when clenching and grinding your teeth at night.
4. You chew on things
throughout the day
People with bruxism chew on other things during the day. Chewing on gum, pencils, and other objects only reinforces this harmful habit. Chewing you're doing throughout the day strengthens your jaw muscles so that they become very strong, tight, and accustomed to making that chewing/grinding motion.
5. Your dentist diagnosed you
Since most people are asleep when they're grinding their teeth, or are doing it involuntarily throughout the day, you may not be aware of the condition until a dentist tells you. This is one reason it's so important to visit your dentist regularly.
The most common treatment for bruxism is a night guard. Night guards are mouth guards that you wear while you're asleep. You should visit your dentist to have a night guard that is custom made for your mouth. This helps to give you the best results, and is more comfortable than what you may find in stores.
If you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible.