It’s easy to ignore something like grinding your teeth if it doesn’t cause you any discomfort, or leave any noticeable impacts. That’s usually the case when it comes to most people’s teeth-grinding habit. When healthy, your teeth are strong enough to withstand occasionally grinding together without becoming worn down or damaged. However, for some people, the habit can become something serious that you shouldn’t ignore. In severe cases, it might even be a condition (known as bruxism) that you’ll need professional treatment to address.
It’s starting to wear your teeth down
When your teeth-grinding is more than an occasional occurrence, the strength and integrity of your teeth can be directly compromised. Your teeth can only take so much pressure and friction, even when they’re at their healthiest. When they’re forced against each other on a frequent basis, they can begin to show the signs of it as their chewing surfaces start to wear down. This may not be obvious at first, though you may feel your teeth growing more sensitive due to the damage. The more your teeth wear down, the more likely you’ll notice signs such as changes in how your bite feels and how your teeth look.
It’s making your jaw sore and painful
Your teeth take the brunt of the pressure when you grind your teeth too often, but the pressure can also affect the other structures of your bite that provide that pressure. Your jaw joints, or temporomandibular joints (TMJs), help your jaw open, close, and move as you bite and chew. These joints and the muscles surrounding them may start to grow sore and painful from the strain, especially when you first wake up in the morning. If you don’t address your teeth-grinding habit soon, then the impact on your TMJs and jaw muscles can grow increasingly worse.
It’s affecting your bite’s ability to function
The more your teeth-grinding habit affects your teeth and jaw structures, the more it can also impact your bite’s ability to function properly. In addition to the change in how your teeth feel due to the wear, you might also notice it becoming increasingly more difficult to bite and chew comfortably when you intend to. The pain may include your jaw joints and muscles as well as the muscles in your face, on top of the discomfort that your teeth feel due to being forced against each other so often.
Learn how to solve your bruxism problem
If you don’t take it seriously, a constant teeth-grinding habit could become a serious problem for your teeth and oral health. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI, today at 248-693-6213.