I have been a life-long tooth grinder. As a child my parents could hear my nocturnal gnashing from their bedroom and it continued into adulthood.
However, despite my line of work, I only recently had a splint made to wear at night and I've noticed a huge improvement. I knew all the symptoms and issues that can arise from tooth grinding, but seemed to just accept it as a part of my life.
But no more!
So I've put together a list of signs to watch out for, so that you don't do what I did. While the following symptoms are common in those of us who grind our teeth, they may be the result of a different ailment, so always get any issues you have checked out.
Headaches can be a common symptom of grinding or clenching, particularly when you experience them first thing in the morning and the pain is located around your temples and/or ears.
2. Jaw pain or tenderness
The average human bite produces 70 lbs of pressure when chewing food. If you grind or clench while you sleep the force you produce can be a whopping 6 times greater. Little wonder your jaw isn't feeling too comfy!
3. Difficulty opening your mouth fully
Grinding can cause some issues with the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull (known as the TMJ). As a result you may have symptoms such as difficulty opening your mouth wide, clicking of your jaw or even locking if you open too wide.
4. Tooth wear and/or sensitivity
A sure sign that you are grinding your teeth is excessive tooth wear or chipping of the edges of your teeth. The teeth can appear shorter and flatter. Sensitivity to cold and hot foods and drinks can result as the protective enamel is worn away. But don't panic, you can't re-grow enamel but your dentist will be able to offer you ways of restoring the worn teeth and improving their appearance.
(Take a look at our blog post on Cosmetic Bonding and Contouring)
You may experience a couple of the symptoms listed, or if you are particularly unlucky like me, you might suffer all of them at one stage or another. But please don't suffer in silence. We offer several options that can successfully reduce tooth grinding and relieve your symptoms.
So don't put up with it like I did. Mention it to your dentist the next time you have a check-up or give our Reception Team a call on 02892663022 and arrange an appointment.
Heather @ BWD 😁