Sometimes, things that you know should be a problem don’t seem like one, and you aren’t sure if you should bring it up with your dentist. For instance, if your tooth is slightly sensitive, but the sensitivity goes away, then you might not consider it something worth paying attention to. Or, if you notice that you grind your teeth once in a while, it may never even occur to you that your dentist should know about it. However, whether it’s a toothache or a case of constant teeth-grinding, the problem can grow worse if it’s ignored long enough.
When your teeth start to change
Your teeth are highly resilient when they’re healthy, which is why grinding them together occasionally isn’t usually a problem. However, even at their healthiest, your teeth aren’t completely indestructible. When they’re forced to grind against each other consistently, the pressure and friction of tooth structure against tooth structure can start to leave noticeable changes to your teeth. One of the most significant of these changes occurs on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, which can start wearing down excessively over time. Before long, you can notice this change in how your bite feels when you close it, or in the development of sensitivity in one or more teeth.
When you start feeling aches and pains
Sensitivity is a natural reaction in your teeth when they’re forced to grind against each other often enough. However, in addition to tooth sensitivity, chronic bruxism can also lead to the development of other aches and pains related to your bite function. For instance, being forced to emit that much force on a constant basis can cause damage to your TMJs, or jaw joints, and the muscles that control them. This can lead to chronic, increasingly worse pain in your jaw and facial muscles, and this can grow worse the longer your teeth-grinding continues.
When it affects how your bite works
When bruxism starts to affect the quality of your teeth and oral structures, it can also start to have a more profound impact on the overall function of your bite. At first, this impact is typically centered on how frequently your bite works as your teeth grind together. Over time, however, it can mean diminished bite function when you bite and chew on purpose, as well as difficulty and increasingly worse discomfort every time you open and close your bite.
Learn if your teeth-grinding is a problem
Not every case of teeth-grinding is a serious problem, but if you start to notice these warning signs, then you should bring it to your dentist’s attention. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI, today at 248-693-6213.