Are You Grinding Your Teeth? How To Tell, Causes And Treatments

Teeth grinding is a condition called Bruxism. It's when you grind your teeth, sometimes when you're asleep, so you may not even realize you're doing it at all. Teeth grinding can cause a number of different problems including wearing down the enamel on your teeth which can lead to cavities, it can also cause your jaw muscles to clench leaving you with TMJ, and can also lead to an uneven bite, which can make eating difficult to do. See below for way to tell if you're grinding your teeth, as well as causes and treatments.

How To Tell If You're Grinding Your Teeth

If you're grinding your teeth mostly at night, you may not even notice that you're doing so. Here are a few things you may have noticed:

  • Aching jaw muscles. If you're waking up with an achy jaw, or the muscles in your jaw are sore, it could be due to grinding your teeth. It's much like when you work out your muscles, they become sore. Your jaw muscles will also get sore from grinding your teeth.
  • Change in tooth appearance. If your teeth are suddenly changing appearance such as they are flat on the top, or your bite has changed, it could be due to grinding.
  • Indentations in the gums or tongue. If you wake up and your tongue is sore and has grooves in it, it could be from grinding. Your gums could also be sore and have indentations from this as well.
  • Headaches. Headaches can be caused by teeth grinding, so if you're constantly waking up from sleep and have a headache, it could be from teeth grinding.

A trip to the dentist can also tell you if you're grinding your teeth. Your dentist can spot a problem with your teeth, and can see the change in your teeth, so if you just aren't sure, get into the dentist for a checkup.

Causes Of Teeth Grinding

There are a number of causes of grinding your teeth. It could be from stress, sometimes stress can impact our bodies in numerous ways and teeth grinding is one of them. If you typically chew on things such as pen caps or pencils, you may be more prone to grind your teeth as well. Caffeine may also be a cause of teeth grinding. It adds to stress levels and could cause you to grind your teeth.

Treatments To Help With Grinding

Teeth grinding can be treated to help protect your teeth. Try sleeping with a night guard. You may still grind your teeth, but at least they will be protected from damage. Steer clear of caffeine, especially near bedtime to help ease your mind and body. Try a chamomile tea instead to allow your body to rest and sleep better. Treat the stress in your life by doing something to combat it such as working out, doing yoga or meditating, or doing something else that you enjoy to alleviate the stress you are experiencing.

If you have noticed any of the signs of teeth grinding, see your dentist, someone like John P Poovey DMD PC, for a checkup and for other helpful tips to prevent damage to your teeth.