Most of the time, you might not even realize that you’re grinding your teeth, and in most instances, that’s okay. However, for some people, the act is consistent enough that it poses a threat to the health, strength, and integrity of your teeth. Known as bruxism, the habit of constantly grinding teeth together affects many patients at night, making the condition difficult to detect and diagnose. The good news is that your dentist can tell if you grind your teeth too much by carefully inspecting them during your routine checkup and cleaning appointments. You can also gauge your likelihood of having bruxism if you experience any of the following conditions.
You feel soreness in your teeth.
When healthy, your teeth should feel little more than the pressure of biting and chewing, thanks largely in part to the protective layer of enamel that protects them. However, when you grind your teeth too much, you can wear down that protective layer, making your teeth increasingly more sensitive as time goes by.
Your teeth feel like their surfaces have changed.
It isn’t just your tooth enamel that’s at stake from excessive grinding. The main body of your tooth, known as the dentin, will also begin to wear away, especially on your teeth’s surfaces. Eventually, you may begin to feel as though your bite feel’s different or uneven due to the fact that your teeth no longer meet each other squarely when you bite down.
You experience frequent headaches.
Because bruxism occurs most often at night, you can’t stop it on your own. After a night of constant pressure on your teeth and jaws, you may wake up more often than not with a pounding headache or migraine. If you’re sleeping well, or believe that you are, but still wake up with a headache, then bruxism may be the reason.