Believe it or not, many people who grind their teeth don’t know it. Often people don’t realize they have the habit until their dentist notices the trademark wearing on their teeth or their partner tells then they’re grinding sounds are keeping them up at night. If you have unexplained pain in your mouth, jaw or experience frequent headaches, you could be grinding your teeth.
Kids tend to grind their teeth more than adults; in fact, up to 15 percent of children do it. This could stem from such childhood ailments as teething or ear infections, or could be a side effect of growth and development.
Usually, no treatment is necessary for teeth grinding. That said, if you’re doing damage to your tooth enamel or structure, your dentist will likely prescribe a plastic mouth guard to eliminate the damage caused by grinding. The mouth guard also can help reduce or even eliminate pain caused from night grinding.
Feeling stressed? If so, you’re more likely to grind or clench your teeth. In fact, drinking caffeine or smoking could cause or exacerbate the problem.
We’ve already told you that grinding your teeth can cause damage to the teeth and tooth enamel, but it can also cause problems with your jaw and lead to TMJ or lock jaw. Of course, the condition of your teeth is affected, and that’s reason enough to see your dentist about the issue.
If you suspect you’re a nighttime grinder, come see us. We can help make sure we’re preserving your teeth – and maybe helping your partner get a better night’s sleep too!