Grit your teeth and bear it! Chances are, we’ve all been stressed enough that at one time or another we have gritted our teeth and maybe counted to ten. But actually grinding your teeth? Not many people think they have ever actually been grinding their teeth. Little do they know that many people grind their teeth at night and don’t even realize they are doing it.
Bruxism – more commonly known as “grinding your teeth” – is often caused by stress, tension, or even unresolved anger. When it happens at night, it’s called “sleep bruxism.” Although stress is the most common cause of grinding your teeth, there are other causes, including bad jaw alignment or even a side effect of certain medications.
Regardless of the cause of grinding at night, chances are you won’t even realize you are doing it until symptoms begin to show up. Some of the symptoms can be headaches, migraines, a popping noise and/or pain in your jaw when you try to open it, even an earache or bigger than normal jaw muscles. The scariest symptoms can be those that cause pain. Often you go to a doctor, but they can find nothing wrong.
Another noticeable symptom is when your back teeth start to get shorter and shorter. What you are basically doing is grinding down the cusps, or bumps, on them, causing them to get flat and undersized. This can cause a misalignment of your jaw that, in turn, can cause severe pain that seems inexplicable.
If you happen to have any of these symptoms of grinding your teeth, and a doctor has ruled out medical reasons, make an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist like the ones at Bedford Dental Group. They can determine whether you are unknowingly grinding your teeth at night and design a treatment plan to correct the problem.