When some people catch themselves grinding their teeth, they may wonder if it means they have bruxism. Other people may grind their teeth constantly, yet not realize that it’s a problem or know what bruxism even means. The problem with bruxism is that it isn’t always obvious to patients who have it, even if they do notice that they grind their teeth once in a while. Because of this, many people can experience significant consequences, such as damage to their teeth and changes to their bite, by the time they realize they have a bruxism problem and seek treatment for it.
Do your teeth feel sensitive?
If you aren’t sure whether your occasional teeth-grinding is a sign of bruxism, then one of the first signs may be growing sensitivity in your teeth. Occasional teeth-grinding isn’t typically enough to cause any damage to your tooth structure. Yet, when the grinding is constant due to bruxism, the pressure and friction that it generates can wear down the enamel around your teeth. This can make the main structures of your teeth more sensitive to things like food, beverages, hot and cold temperatures, and more.
Have your teeth become worn-down?
Aside from the increased sensitivity in your tooth, you might not realize that your tooth enamel is being worn down by bruxism. Before long, however, the friction from grinding your teeth together can also wear down the main structures of your teeth, causing more significant harm to their overall strength and integrity. You may notice this wear when your teeth bite down, as it can change the shapes of their chewing surfaces and make it difficult for your teeth to meet each other evenly. This wear will grow increasingly worse the longer your bruxism is left untreated.
Are your jaw muscles sore often?
Your teeth can suffer a lot under the intense and constant pressure of bruxism, but there may be other consequences to the rest of your oral health when bruxism is allowed to continue. For instance, while your teeth absorb your bite’s pressure, your jaw joints (TMJs) and muscles are responsible for generating it. This means they have to work overtime every time you grind your teeth together subconsciously, and in time, this can lead to pain and soreness in the joints and muscles.
Learn if you can benefit from bruxism treatment
If you suffer from bruxism, you may not notice your constant teeth-grinding until your dentist detects signs of it, or you start to develop noticeable symptoms. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call our dental office in Los Angeles, CA, today at (310) 446-GUMS (4867). We also proudly serve patients living in Santa Monica, Culver City, Beverly Hills, Century City, Encino, and all surrounding communities.