Are you a teeth grinder?

teeth grinding habit

You may have heard of bruxism, but if you don’t realize how often you grind your teeth, then you might not think it’s something you should worry about. However, for many patients, there’s more to their teeth grinding habit than they realize, and if they ignore it, they could be exposed to a host of more serious dental health issues. To learn more about your teeth grinding habit and whether or not it’s a problem, ask your dentist about it during your next routine visit.

Why you can’t always stop it.

Bruxism, or constant teeth grinding, is a condition that develops from one of many potential underlying issues. For instance, if your teeth are crooked, then your jaw might have to struggle to get comfortable. As it compensates, your jaw muscles can force your teeth strongly against each other. Whatever the cause, you may not be able to consciously stop grinding your teeth without appropriate dental treatment. That treatment might be as simple as making a special grinding appliance that you wear at night or something more involved such as bruxism veneers.

Why grinding hurts your jaws.

Your jaw joints (TMJs) and muscles control your jaw’s movement, and when you have bruxism, they’re constantly being used. It doesn’t take long for your jaw to become exhausted, feeling tired and sore due to your habit. Over time, this exhaustion can lead to damaged jaw joints and the dysfunction known as TMJ disorder.

Why you might experience chronic migraines.

Beside TMJs and jaw muscles, your bite’s movement is also controlled by the large, dominant cranial nerve group called the trigeminal nerves. One of the nerve’s branches is located next to your jaw joints, and when the joints are overworked, the nerve can become sensitive. For many patients, the nerve transfers the discomfort from your jaw to other areas of your head, leading to chronic headaches and migraines.

How Can I Avoid Future Issues With Grinding?

Because it falls upon your teeth to perform biting and chewing tasks, some wear and tear over time can happen. If you want to limit a potential accumulation of damage, you should avoid biting or chewing hard surfaces like ice, or pen caps. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth at night, you can cause more significant damage, in addition to wear and tear. This grinding tendency may be a sign you are dealing with TMJ dysfunction. Many find that wearing a night guard will offer relief of your jaw pain.

Find Out How to Treat Your Teeth-Grinding Habit

If you aren’t sure whether or not your teeth grinding habit is a problem and how you can treat it, speak with your dentist about the possibility of bruxism during your next visit. To schedule your consultation, call Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.