What You Should Know About Grinding Your Teeth

Bruxism is the condition where you grind, clench, and gnash your teeth during the day or at night. Many people don’t even realize they are doing it, and it becomes an unconscious habit. Unfortunately, it can lead to some negative physical effects. A third of us do it during the daytime, which means it’s pretty common, so here is what you should know about grinding your teeth!

What Causes Bruxism?

Grinding or clenching your teeth during the daytime can be due to all the stressors around us, and we admit there are many. Anxiety, stress, anger, and frustrations while awake can cause us to “grit our teeth” to get through the day. It’s more than a figure of speech.

Sometimes you can feel yourself doing it,  and your jaw becomes tight and painful.

Night time grinding can be caused by sleep apnea, certain medications for depression, and acid reflux. Smoking, excessive alcohol, and caffeine can be risk factors as well.

Each patient is different and the causes can be a combination of physical, psychological or even genetic factors.

woman grinding her teeth in bed

Common Signs Of Bruxism

Watch for some of the common signs that you may be grinding your teeth.

They can include the following:

  • Your jaw feels tired or tight in the morning or even during the day when you are concentrating.
  • Pain in your neck or face
  • Your teeth are fractured or flattened
  • Pain near your ear but without an ear ache
  • The grinding wakes up your sleep partner
  • Worn tooth enamel and increased sensitivity
  • Damage from chewing located on the inside of your cheek

Some Effects Of Grinding Your Teeth

Mild or moderate teeth grinding can bring on headaches and facial pain. Moderate or extreme bruxism can cause a fractured tooth, damage to crowns and restorations,  or TMJ.

TMJ is a disorder causing the temporomandibular joints in front of your ears to be out of alignment. Besides causing pain, it affects your bite, chewing and can cause you to make a clicking sound when you move your jaw.

Don’t wait until the pain begins to spread to your ears and temples to seek help from Manhattan Dental Arts. Your dentist may already have noticed some signs of bruxism when examining your teeth.

Ask Manhattan Dental Arts about treatments and techniques to reduce the symptoms of grinding your teeth.

As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (212) 247-2330 or request an appointment online today.